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

College Suicide Prevention

Response of Suffolk County

Long Island Crisis Center

Lifeline National Suicide Prevention
1.800.273.TALK (8255)

Office of Mental Health


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

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

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.

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