Globally, 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. About 80% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries. It is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24 in the world.
Even in the relatively prosperous U.S., more than 48,000 individuals commit suicide each year:
- Firearm suicides – 24,000 (50%)
- Suffocation suicides – 14,000 (29%)
- Poisoning suicides – 6,000 (13%)
- Other causes – 4,000 (8%)
In 2018, there were two and a half times as many suicides as there were homicides. Overall, suicides were the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. However, it was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
Eighty percent of all deaths by suicide in the U.S. are among men and women age 45-54. Of that, the suicide rate is higher among middle-aged white males — 3.7 times the rate for females. Sadly, lesbian, gay, and bisexual kids are three times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual kids. 41% of trans adults attempt suicide.
THE U.S. SUICIDE RATE has surged 33% since the turn of the century. Over the last couple of decades, the suicide rate rose 53% for women, compared with 26% for men. Among women, those 45 to 64 years old saw the highest increase, while the rate for men was highest among those 75 and older.
Health experts say alcohol and substance misuse, as well as isolation and poor family relationships, can be risk factors. High rates of poverty, unemployment and limited access to mental health care are also contributors. Many worry that suicide rates are likely to spike in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
If you, or someone you care about, are struggling with suicidal ideations, don’t remain silent. Talk to someone you can trust. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or talk to a trusted friend.