Breaking News
December 11, 2018 - Ezogabine treatment reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS patients, study shows
December 11, 2018 - One implant, two prices. It depends on who’s paying.
December 11, 2018 - Standardizing feeding practices improves growth trends for micro-preemies
December 11, 2018 - COPD Tied to Obesity in Male, Female Never-Smokers
December 11, 2018 - Flossing: Information for Caregivers
December 11, 2018 - Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?
December 11, 2018 - Krystal 2000 microplate design improves fluorescence and luminescence measurement
December 11, 2018 - FDA clears mobile medical app to help increase retention in recovery program for opioid use disorder
December 11, 2018 - Overcoming Challenges in High-Speed Centrifugation Experiments
December 11, 2018 - Study shows link between neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices
December 11, 2018 - Lower BMI before obesity surgery predicts greater post-operative weight loss, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
December 11, 2018 - Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify potential diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Filling research gaps could help develop more disability-inclusive workplaces
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
December 11, 2018 - Scientists discover cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans
December 11, 2018 - Increasing mental health problems related to drug use in over 55’s
December 11, 2018 - High-intensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people
December 11, 2018 - Annual flu shot can save lives of heart failure patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals
December 11, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
December 11, 2018 - Genetic analysis links obesity with diabetes, coronary artery disease
December 11, 2018 - Study shows that having genetic information can affect how the body responds
December 11, 2018 - UNAIDS Report: 9 Million Are Likely HIV Positive And Don't Know It
December 11, 2018 - Lund University researchers succeed in obtaining dendritic cells by direct reprogramming
December 11, 2018 - Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth, study reveals
December 11, 2018 - Updated breast cancer screening guideline highlights importance of shared decision-making
December 11, 2018 - EHR-related stress associated with physician burnout
December 11, 2018 - AHA: 12-Year-Old Heart Defect Survivor Inspires NFL Player’s Foundation
December 11, 2018 - Breast cancer patients who take heart drug with trastuzumab have less heart damage
December 11, 2018 - Providing aid to those humans – and animals – affected by the California fires
December 11, 2018 - Even without proof, CBD is finding a niche as a cure-all
December 11, 2018 - Drawing leads to better memory than writing
December 11, 2018 - Researchers report novel findings on plant hormone
December 10, 2018 - A Tale of Two Labels
December 10, 2018 - Triple combination cancer immunotherapy improves outcomes in preclinical melanoma model
December 10, 2018 - A 14-year-old explains what it’s like to get a new heart
December 10, 2018 - Team Players Honored with 2018 Baton Awards
December 10, 2018 - Global report highlights how the changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels
December 10, 2018 - Genes play a role in physical activity and sleep
December 10, 2018 - DDT in Alaskan fish shown to increase risk of cancer
December 10, 2018 - Laws to curb use of cell phones have greatly reduced fatalities for motorcyclists
December 10, 2018 - Argenx Provides Detailed Data from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Efgartigimod in Immune Thrombocytopenia and Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of Cusatuzumab in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
December 10, 2018 - University of Maryland doctors treat first breast cancer patients with GammaPod radiotherapy
December 10, 2018 - The heartbeat seat: Demoing new well-being technologies in a car
December 10, 2018 - Leading Cancer Researcher to Direct Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
December 10, 2018 - Researchers explore how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
December 10, 2018 - Study compares pain-related diagnoses in First Nations and non-First Nations children, youth
December 10, 2018 - Experts address sleep disorders following traumatic brain injury
December 10, 2018 - Scientists find answers to how cancer spreads
December 10, 2018 - Study explores why older people read more slowly
December 10, 2018 - Smart life-collar could save lives of young children
December 10, 2018 - Asbestos found in most NHS hospitals finds BBC inquiry
December 10, 2018 - Researchers use new technique to probe hydrogen bonds
December 10, 2018 - Music improves social communication in autistic children
December 10, 2018 - Some Brain Tumors May Respond to Immunotherapy, New Study Suggests
December 10, 2018 - Banning junk food ads to combat childhood obesity
December 10, 2018 - Skin Autofluorescence Predicts T2DM, Heart Disease, Mortality
December 10, 2018 - Largest autism sequencing study to date yields 102 genes associated with ASD
December 10, 2018 - Statins associated with low risk of side effects
December 10, 2018 - Episodic memory tests help in predicting brain atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease
December 10, 2018 - Study explores how schools address adolescent self-harming practices
December 10, 2018 - Pregnancy in adolescence linked to increased risks of complications in young mothers
December 10, 2018 - Risk Analysis publishes special issue on communicating about Zika virus
December 10, 2018 - Botox May Help Prevent Post-Op A-Fib
December 10, 2018 - African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD
December 10, 2018 - Graphic warning labels cancel out cigarettes’ appeal to young people
December 10, 2018 - Australian researchers to study gas inhalational anaesthetic and likelihood of cancer return
December 10, 2018 - Individual neurons located within the brain have implications for psychiatric diseases
December 10, 2018 - Researchers improve bariatric surgery scoring system to extend prediction time for diabetic remission
December 10, 2018 - HPV type 16 or 18 associated with cervical cancer risk in young women

Suicide Prevention | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Overview

Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation. Suicide prevention efforts seek to:

  • Reduce factors that increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Increase the factors that help strengthen, support, and protect individuals from suicide

Ideally, these efforts address individual, relationship, community, and societal factors while promoting hope, easing access into effective treatment, encouraging connectedness, and supporting recovery.

Nearly 40,000 people in the United States die from suicide annually, or 1 person every 13 minutes. This exceeds the rate of death from homicide and AIDS combined. More people die by suicide than from automobile accidents.

The suicide rate has been rising over the past decade, with much of the increase driven by suicides in mid-life, where the majority of all suicides in the United States now occur. From 1999 to 2013, the age-adjusted suicide rate for all ages in the United States increased (10.5% to 13.5%). Half of these deaths occur by use of a firearm.

Of all the death attributed to suicide in 2013, 78% of those are male. In 2013, the latest year for which data is available, the highest number of suicides among both men and women occurred among those aged 45 to 54. The highest rates of suicides (suicides per 100,000) occurred among men aged 75 and up and among women aged 45 to 54. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 and for those aged 25 to 34.

Suicidal thoughts are also a significant concern. Having serious thoughts of suicide increases the risk of a person making an actual suicide attempt. There are more than 25 attempted suicides for each suicide death. In 2014, an estimated 9.4 million adults (3.9%) aged 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. A report on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Adults from the 2014 NSDUH report (PDF | 3.4 MB) showed that the percentage was highest among people aged 18 to 25, followed by people aged 26 to 49, then by people aged 50 or older. Among high school students, more than 17% (approximately 2.5 million ninth through twelfth graders) have seriously considered suicide, more than 13% have made a suicide plan, and more than 8% have attempted suicide.

The most critical risk factors for suicide are prior suicide attempts, mood disorders (such as depression), alcohol and drug use, and access to lethal means. In 2008, alcohol was a factor in approximately one-third of suicides reported in 16 states. According to SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network report on drug-related emergency department visits, in 2011, there was a 51% increase in drug-related suicide attempt visits to hospital emergency departments among people aged 12 and older.

Suicide touches all ages and backgrounds, all racial and ethnic groups, in all parts of the country. However, some populations are at higher risk for suicidal behavior. For example, the emotional toll of a person’s suicide can put surviving family, friends, and other loved ones at greater risk of dying by suicide.

Fortunately, there is strong evidence that a comprehensive public health approach is effective in reducing suicide rates. Released by the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention in 2012, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention is intended to guide suicide prevention actions in the United States over the next decade. The strategy provides guidance for schools, businesses, health systems, clinicians, and others, and emphasizes the role every American can play in protecting their friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide.

SAMHSA is a proud partner of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership with more than 200 participating organizations advancing the national strategy for suicide prevention. SAMHSA funds the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to act as Executive Secretariat to the Action Alliance. Learn about the Action Alliance’s Your Life Matters! campaign, which gives faith communities of every tradition, philosophy, sect, or denomination an opportunity to dedicate one Sabbath each year, preferably corresponding to World Suicide Prevention Day, to celebrate life, hope, and reasons to live.

SAMHSA is committed to continuing to working with its federal partners and private organizations to provide states, territories, tribal entities, communities, and the public with the assistance and prevention resources they need. SAMHSA offers:

Learn more about:

Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior

These signs may mean that someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if the behavior is new, or has increased, and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Download the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card: Learn the Warning Signs – 2005 in English or en Español.

What You Can Do

If you believe someone may be thinking about suicide:

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.)
  • Listen without judging and show you care.
  • Stay with the person (or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person) until you can get further help.
  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and follow their guidance.
  • If danger for self-harm seems imminent, call 911.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. For instance, faith communities can work to prevent suicide simply by fostering cultures and norms that are life-preserving, providing perspective and social support to community members, and helping people navigate the struggles of life to find a sustainable sense of hope, meaning, and purpose. For information about how you can help, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s customized information sheets for parents, teachers, co-workers, and others.

Schools and Campus Suicide Prevention

SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Program provides funding to institutions of higher education to identify students who are at risk for suicide and suicide attempts, increase protective factors that promote mental health, reduce risk factors for suicide, and reduce suicides and suicide attempts.

Many of SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention grantees focus efforts on middle and high schools. SAMHSA also funded the development of Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools – 2012 to help high schools, school districts, and their partners design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among their students.

Now Is The Time—Prevention and Early Intervention

On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama released the Now Is The Time plan, which outlines how the nation can better support the behavioral health needs of young people. Since then, SAMHSA has played a key role in supporting activities outlined in the plan, including developing and funding new grant programs.

Screening and Assessment Tools

Most people who die by suicide had seen a health care provider in the year prior to their suicide. Further, many people visited a health care provider in the month prior to their suicide. Screening and assessing for suicide risk is an important aspect of suicide prevention. Available screening tools include:

SAMHSA also works with health care professionals to help them prevent and deal with suicide attempts and developed a Quick Guide for Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment – 2013.

Suicide Attempt Survivors

Although prior suicide attempts is one of the strongest risk factors for suicide, the vast majority of people who attempt suicide (9 in 10) do not ultimately die by suicide. A growing number of people who have lived through suicidal experiences are writing and speaking about their experiences, connecting with one another, and sharing their pathways to wellness and recovery. Additional resources include:

Loss Survivors

Losing a loved one to suicide can be profoundly painful for family members and friends. SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center helps loss survivors find local and national organizations, websites, and other resources that provide support, healing, and a sense of community.

Learn more about helping loved ones cope after a suicide or suicide attempt:

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles