The Importance of Recognizing Depression

"Collaborations in Suicidology: Bridging the Disciplines,” recognizes that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.  In the United States, suicide claims the lives of more people than homicide and HIV combined. One million adults attempt suicide every year. Suicide touches everyone—all ages and backgrounds, all racial and ethnic groups, in all parts of the country. And the emotional toll on those left behind endures long after the event.

There is help-and hope-when individuals, organizations, and communities join forces to address suicide as a preventable public health problem. Over the past 20 years, suicide death rates among youth have declined by 40% and among older adults by 33%. Using a public health approach, we can reduce the suicide toll among all age groups. By drawing on research and implementing effective interventions, we can save lives

Suicide Deaths in the United States:

  There are far more suicides each year than homicides. In fact, in 2009, the number of suicides was  about twice that of homicides.

  More than  36,000 people kill themselves each year.

Suicide Attempts in the United States

  There are an estimated 12 attempted suicides for every one suicide death.

  More than 374,500 people with self-inflicted injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year.

  More than 163,000 people are hospitalized each year due to self-inflicted injury.

Age Group Differences

  Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25- to 34-year olds and the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year olds.

  Suicide among 45- to 54-year-olds is a growing problem; the rate of suicide is higher in this age group than in any other.

  Although older adults engage in suicide attempts less than those in other age groups, they have a higher rate of death by suicide.  Over the age of 65, there is one estimated suicide for every 4 attempted suicides compared to 1 suicide for every 100-200 attempts among youth and young adults ages 15-24.

Gender Disparities

  Men die by suicide four times as often as women and represent 78.8% of all U.S. suicides.

  Women attempt suicide two to three times as often as men.

  Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75 and older.

  Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54.

  Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males.

  Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females

If you’ve noticed changes in yourself or someone you care about, seek help as soon as possible. These signs may be a clue that you need to connect with someone—especially if they are new or have gotten worse.

·             Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself. Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.

·             Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.

·             Talking about feeling trapped or 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.

Supporting a friend who is at a low point can be really stressful. You may not know what to say or do or how to show someone “you matter to me.” You can help. You can listen. You can let them express their feelings without judgment or fear. You can help them find more support. You can help them know that they aren’t alone.

There are so many things that can make you feel stuck or disconnected. Relationship or family problems, abuse or violence, .illness, sexual orientation or gender identity issues. These feelings may creep up over time or come out of nowhere without warning. No matter what you’re struggling with or how it’s emerged, there are real ways to plug back in—to get help and support 24/7/365 wherever and however you need it.


Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) – Veteran’s Press 1

Suicide Prevention Resource Center