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Facts About Suicide

Worldwide there are more deaths due to suicide than to accidents, homicides
and war combined.

  1. More than 30,000 people in the US reportedly die by suicide every year.
  2. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students. It is estimated that 1100 students die by suicide each year at college. 
  3. Currently suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US (based on the most recent data available)
  4. Every day approximately 105 Americans take their life and 2625 more attempt to do so. 
  5. A person dies by suicide every 14 minutes in the US. An attempt is estimated to be made every 29 seconds. 
  6. Based on 2010 mortality data the US suicide rate among women was 5.2 per every 100,000 women while for men it was 20 per every 100,000 men. 
  7. There are about 4 male suicides for every female suicide but there are 3 female suicide attempts for every male attempt. 
  8. Firearms are the most frequent method of suicide among youth and adults in the US. 
  9. College students die by suicide primarily by hanging or jumping. 
  10. Over 90% of people who die by suicide had at least one diagnosable psychiatric illness at the time of death. The most common diagnoses are depression and drug/alcohol abuse. 
  11. Alcoholism is a factor in about 30% of all suicide deaths. 
  12. Early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses appears to be the best way to prevent suicide. 
  13. Certain personality disorders such as Borderline and Antisocial personality disorders appear to carry a high risk for suicide. Impulsivity also appears to be a risk factor for suicide. 
  14. Between 20-50% of people who kill themselves have previously attempted suicide. Although the majority of people who die by suicide have not made a previous attempt, those who have previously attempted suicide are at a greater risk than those without a history of suicide attempts to die by suicide. 
  15. Suicidal individuals often talk openly about suicide directly or indirectly using statements like "My family would be better off without me.” Sometimes they talk as if they are saying goodbye or going away, and may arrange to put their affairs in order. Other signs are giving away articles they value, paying off debts or changing a will.
From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the JED Foundation