Suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined.

General

  • Over 39,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
  • In 2011 (latest available data), there were 39,518 reported suicide deaths.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 15 and 64 years in the United States.
  • Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 13.3 minutes in the United States.
  • Every day, approximately 108 Americans take their own life.
  • Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
  • There are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for every suicide death (no complete count is kept of suicide attempts in the U.S.; however, the CDC gathers data each year from hospitals on non-fatal injuries resulting from self-harm behavior).

Depression

24 million Americans suffer from depression each year.
  • Over 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
  • Depression affects nearly 10 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year.
  • More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
  • About 15 percent of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some time during their lifetime. Thirty percent of all clinically depressed patients attempt suicide; half of them ultimately die by suicide.
  • Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.
The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and other mood disorders.

Learn more at afsp.org or call 888-333-AFSP.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2011. 

 

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with experts on suicide prevention or would like to do a story on suicide prevention or the Out of the Darkness overnight walk please contact pr@afsp.org or (347) 826-3577.

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