Sept 10-16, 2017
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call. If you believe someone you know needs help, call. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for all.
Because September 10-16 is national suicide prevention week, I was asked to write a blog on the topic. I assure you, I am not an expert; in fact, I have zero qualifications to discuss this topic. But I do have research skills and what I found was chilling.
Do you think this tragedy can’t happen you your family? Think again. Here are a few statistics on suicide in the United States:
- In the US, we average 121 suicide deaths PER DAY
- 44,193 fellow Americans die each year by suicide; it is the 10th leading cause of death in our nation and it is 100% preventable
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for our 15-24 year olds
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those who are 15-34 years old
- Since 1999, the rate of suicide in the US has increased 24% to more than 13/100,000 deaths – the highest rate in 28 years
- Women attempt suicide three times more often than males, but males are more successful and die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle age
- ~70% of suicide victims are white males
Many people associate suicide with those on the fringes of our society, but that is a false and dangerous impression. By profession the highest rate of suicide is from physicians. The ten professions with the highest suicide rates in the nation:
- Financial Industry Employees
- Law Enforcement
- Real Estate Agents
- Agriculture workers
Other groups with particularly troubling stats include:
- Our veterans die by suicide twice as often as those who have not served
- During some years of the gulf wars, we lost more active-duty soldiers to suicide than to combat (ex: 2012 – 185 suicides, 176 combat deaths)
- Attempted rates in this group is three times higher than the national average
- 1-866-488-7386, The Trevor Lifeline is a 24 hour crisis and suicide prevention helpline specifically for LGBTQ youth;
- there’s also a chat line available 3PM-10PM eastern time
- Text “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200 from 3PM-10PM eastern time
- Call 1-866-488-7386 anytime, day or night
- 13 time more likely to attempt suicide
- Numbers with this group are not agreed upon, but there have been many studies and in all studies, the group has higher than average stats
Your state is not exempt from the epidemic, but a few – very few – states do have single digit suicide rates. While seven deaths per day is still seven too many – congrats to New Yorkers who have the lowest rate in the nation. Other states in the single digit club include New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut. On the other end of the scale – what the hell is going on in Wyoming (highest suicide rate in the nation), Alaska, and Montana?
Clearly, we have a national crisis on our hands – and the numbers are rising. Find out what you can do to help reverse the trend.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. If you or someone you love needs help, make the call.
If you have other resources for people in crisis, please use the comments section to share that information.