September 10th is world suicide prevention day, an awareness day that is recognized around the world to remember those affected by suicide. Regardless of whether they attempted suicide but failed, have had suicidal thoughts or lost a loved one due to suicide. Preventing suicide is saving someone’s life, allowing them to live a little bit longer to experience a little bit more joy and love. Suicide affects everyone in one way or another, and the numbers associated with suicide may be shocking to some. Suicide prevention statistics can shed light on the importance of this mental health issue.
Numbers, facts, and suicide
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
- In 2017, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white
- On average, there are 129 suicides per day
- In 2017, men died by suicide 54xmore often than women.
- In 2017, firearms accounted for 57%of all suicide deaths.
- Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides
- In the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.
- Mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with more than 90% of all cases of suicide.
- In Europe, mainly Eastern Europe, the highest suicide rates are reported for both men and women.
- The Eastern Mediterranean Region and Central Asia republics have the lowest suicide rates.
- Nearly 30% of all suicides worldwide occur in India and China.
- Suicides globally by age are as follows: 55% are aged between 15 to 44 years, and 45% are aged 45 years and over.
- Youth suicide is increasing at the highest rate.
- Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than are females. However, females are more likely to attempt suicide than are males.
- Women are more likely to attempt suicide by self-poisoning.
- Popular media may also increase suicide rates. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that, since the 2017 release of Netflix’s series “13 Reasons Why,” suicide queries increased online 19 percent.
- For reasons not fully understood, suicides are more common in spring. This springtime peak may be the result of a loss of hope as the weather warms, but life doesn’t seem to improve for the depressed person.
- The most significant risk factor for committing suicide is having previously attempted to kill oneself.
- The vast majority of people who do kill themselves have a mental illness. More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a mental disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, or some other diagnosis.
- One-third of people who killed themselves in 2009 had alcohol in their systems, according to the CDC. About a fifth (20.8 percent) tested positive for opiates, which include prescription pain medications and heroin.
- People with a family history of suicide, childhood trauma, or who have impulsive aggression are more likely to commit suicide.
- Between 50 percent and 75 percent of people who attempt suicide talk about their suicidal thoughts, feelings, and plans before the act.
- Many suicidal people struggle intensely with ambivalence.
Seeking treatment for suicidal thoughts and tendencies can prevent the loss of life. Mental health professionals are trained in suicide prevention and can help uncover the underlying triggers associated with these distressing thoughts. Psychotherapy and medications can be used to cope with any anxiety or additional mental health disorders that may be present.