- Over 47,000 people die by suicide each year.
- The rate has gone up by 30% over the last 16 years.
- The rate of suicide among young Black children between the ages of 5 -12 has doubled in the last 15 years.
- Native Americans have the greatest incidence of suicide.
- About 85 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm end in death. (Drug overdose, the most widely used method in suicide attempts, is fatal in less than 3 percent of the cases.)
- For attempted suicides, Men are more likely to complete suicide compared to women.
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men.
- In 2017, men died by suicide 3.54 times more often than women.
- On average, there are 129 suicides per day.
- White males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2017.
- In 2017, firearms accounted for 50.57% of all suicide deaths.
Youth and Suicide
- The rate of high school-aged youth considering and committing suicide continues to rise, particularly among female students.
- Children do not have the words to express hurts, disappointments or observations.
- Getting Black youth linked to culturally-affirming counselors is key to decreasing the rate of suicide.
- Give the youth a safe space to express and process stress, issues, and concerns.
- Value children and allow children to feel loved.
Risk Factors Leading to Suicide
- Exposure to trauma, response/reaction to trauma, and how trauma is processed are directly correlated to a suicide attempt.
- Negative engagement by others due to a person’s sexual orientation.
- Depression – issue of hopelessness and not being able to see your way out.
- Substance abuse.
- Being bullied or enduring a hostile work or home environment.
- Experiencing life-changing situations – job loss, death of a friend or family member, relationship break-up.
Protective Factors Preventing Suicide
For The Individual at Risk
- Feeling comfortable in your emotions knowing that they are temporary.
- Having a trusted mental health provider when stress, depression, or overwhelming emotions are present for more than several weeks.
- Exercising – physical movement for 20 – 30 minutes, three times a week.
- Gaining coping skills.
- Having spirituality or a belief in a higher power.
For Family and Friends of Individuals at Risk
- Get Educated and gain awareness about signs of depression, suicide ideation.
- Create intentional safe spaces for those with mental health challenges.
- Listen without always having a solution if the person discusses their issues.
- Ask the person directly if they are thinking of harming themselves with a non-judgmental disposition
Warning Signs of Suicidal Ideation
- Giving away possessions
- Demeanor and change in mood – very irritable
- Isolating and withdrawing from others.
- May actually speak about self-harm and suicide. Not your job to know if someone is seeking attention behavior. Take every suicide threat seriously.
- Verbal cues such as “I don’t want to be here”, “I don’t want to be a burden to you”, and “you all would be better off without me.”
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources on their website.
- Visit the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) to analyze national, state, and local youth risk behaviors
- The web-based program, CALM Tools for Living, is available for use by clinicians or agencies. CALM is a structured therapeutic approach that has been demonstrated to be effective in helping people to reduce their anxiety and depression symptoms.