Suicide is a major public health concern.
Around 30,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. More people die by suicide each year than by homicide.
Suicide is tragic. But it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.
A sudden catastrophic event, failure or humiliation like a home foreclosure or job loss can leave you feeling desperate, profoundly depressed and unable to see a way out.
Who is at risk for suicide?
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities are at risk for suicide. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:
- Depression, other psychiatric disorders, or substance misuse disorder;
- A prior suicide attempt;
- Family history of a psychiatric disorder or substance misuse;
- Family history of suicide;
- Family violence, including physical or sexual misuse;
- Having guns or other firearms in the home;
- Incarceration, being in prison or jail;
- Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or media figures;
Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide.
Get Help If You Have Persistent Thoughts Like:
- “I’m finished.”
- “It’s all over”
- “There’s no hope. There’s nothing I can do”
- “My family would be better off without me”
If You Are In Crisis
Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell anyone;
- Ask for help now.
- Tell your best friend
- Call 911
- Go to your nearest Emergency Room
What should I do if someone I know is considering suicide?
If you know someone who is considering suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get your loved one to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Remove any access he or she may have to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including medications.
Talk of Suicide is not a bid for attention. If someone you know makes any comments about suicide:
- Listen and take their concerns seriously;
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their plans;
- Let them know you care and they are not alone;
- Don’t leave them alone;
- Get help.
Suicide is a Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem