Suicide Prevention

Facts About Suicide

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than twice many lives each year as homicides.

  • On average, more than 33,000 Americans died each year between 2001 and 2009 as a result of suicide – more than 1 person every 15 minutes.

  • More than 8 million adults reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past year, 2.5 million people reported making a suicide plan in the past year, and 1.1 million reported a suicide attempt in the past year.

  • Nearly 16 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 report having seriously considered suicide, and 7.8 percent report having attempted suicide once or more in the past 12 months.

Suicide Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die; feeling hopeless, trapped, or in unbearable pain; being a burden to others;

  • Looking for a way to kill oneself;

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;

  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;

  • Sleeping too little or too much;

  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated;

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and

  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

What you can do if you believe someone is at risk of suicide:

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their heads, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.);

  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255);

  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional;

  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and

  • If possible, do not leave the person alone.

Disparities/Age Differences

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, the second among persons aged 25-34 years, the fourth among persons aged 35-54 years, and the eighth among persons 55-64 years.

  • Suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79% of all U.S. suicides.

  • Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts.

  • Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (56%).

  • Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females (37.4%).

Confidential Resources

Response of Suffolk County

Long Island Crisis Center

Lifeline National Suicide Prevention
1.800.273.TALK (8255)

The Mental Health Association of Suffolk County

Office of Mental Health


Joe’s Project

Take a Free SafeTALK Training Workshop

  • Learn to identify people who have thoughts of suicide.
  • Move beyond common tendencies to dismiss warning signs.
  • Make connections to helpful resources.

To set up training for your organizations or group, contact: Colleen Merlo, 631.226.3900.