Suicide in the United States: A Fact Sheet      


Suicide often occurs shortly after a stressful event, loss of employment, legal problems (an arrest), or a recent disappointment or rejection (e.g. fight with significant other). Firearms are the most common method in the United States and especially in rural areas, hanging is more common in early adolescence, and ingestion of pills or other is common but often not as fatal, followed by asphyxiation and jumping.
Depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior and/or substance or alcohol abuse is common among those who attempt suicide.



• There are over 30,000 suicides in the United States each year: about one complete suicide each 16 minutes and one attempt every minute.1
• Internationally, about one million people die by suicide each year – more than war
   and homicide combined.2
• Two thirds of suicidal deaths occur on the first attempt.3
• While men complete suicide four times as often as women (17.7 per 100,000 for men
   versus 4.6 per 100,000 for women), women attempt suicide twice as often as men.4
• About 5 percent of people who engage in deliberate self harm (e.g., cutting) die by
   suicide within five to 10 years.5
• More than 90 percent of persons who complete suicide have a mental disorder at the
   time of death, most commonly depression, alcohol abuse, or both.6
• Almost 75 percent of suicides are completed by white males, who have a twofold
   higher risk for suicide than black males (19.1 per 100,000 versus 10.4 per 100,000).7
• Native Americans also are at high risk for suicide (12.9 per 100,000).9
• Each suicide intimately affects at least six people.11
• During the previous 12 months, more than one-fourth of adults reported having symptoms that would qualify them for a diagnosis of    a     mental disorder; and most of those disorders can be classified as serious or moderate.12
• More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and
 AIDS (200,000) combined.13

Warning Signs Suggestive of Suicidal Risk
A. Non-Specific Signs
          1. Sudden changes in personality and behavior
          2. Neglect of school work, falling grades, truancy
          3. Loss of interest in activities
          4. Drug and alcohol abuse
          5. Recent death or loss of a loved one                                    
          6. Impulsivity, poorly controlled rage
          7. Pattern of intense reaction to losses
          8. Loneliness, social isolation, peer/family problems
          9. Loss of energy; fatigue
        10. Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
        11. Depression and hopelessness
B. Specific Signs
          1. Self-mutilation , e.g. burns, carving on self
          2. Death or suicidal themes in reading, music, journals, note or letter, or Self-mutilation, e.g. cuts suicidal note
          3. Prior suicide attempt
          4. Self-destructive acts or suicidal threats
          5. Final arrangements, e.g. giving away valued items
          6. Sudden euphoria or activity after a depressed period
          7. Hopelessness and/or morbid pessimism, lack of caring
          8. Recent suicide by peer or family member
          9. Unusual purchases such as a weapon, rope, or Will
        10. Recurring thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die
        11. Extreme risk taking behavior, playing with firearms

What might be done? Pay attention, listen and observe changes in behaviors. Don’t be afraid to ask directly if the individual is having thoughts of hurting themselves. Limit access to firearms, medication, or other ingestible. Be supportive, offer help and listen, and get help; contact hospital emergency room, police or other emergency responders.Talk to your doctor, a friend, or family member, and Call 911 if needing emergency care.


Need emergency care call number(s) listed below.

Emergency 911

Pit River Behavioral Health Department, (530) 335-4004, or Medical provider,

Helpline: 530-244-2222 8 AM to 8 PM

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

“They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.” Tuscarora

 “All who have died are equal.” Comanche



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