Myths & Facts

Facts –

  • Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year.
  • Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.
  • There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS
  • Between 1952 and 1995, suicide in young adults nearly tripled.
  • Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.
  • In the month prior to their suicide, 75% of elderly persons had visited a physician.
  • Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring.
  • Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
  • For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
  • 80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.
  • 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide.
  • There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion
  • The highest suicide rate is among men over 85 years old: 65 per 100,000 persons.
  • 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.
  • Substance abuse is a risk factor for suicide.
  • The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.
  • In 2011, 39,518 people died by suicide. (CDC)
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 16th). (CDC)
  • It is estimated that there are at least 4.5 million survivors in this country. (AAS)
  • An average of one person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes. (CDC, AAS)
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide. (CDC, AAS)
  • Research has shown medications and therapy to be effective suicide prevention.
  • Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness.
  • Last year SAVE educated 10,618 youth & parents on depression and suicide prevention.
  • Last year SAVE received 810 requests for information from 72 countries.
  • In 2004 it is estimated there were 811,000 suicide attempts in the US. (AAS)
  • There are three female suicide attempts for each male attempt. (CDC, AAS)

According to the Violent Death Reporting System, 73% of suicides also tested positive for at least one substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or marijuana).