Suicide Statistics and Warning Signs

Suicide is a pervasive issue that affects individuals across all age groups. In 2021, it ranked among the top 9 leading causes of death for people aged 10-64, with notable prominence as the second leading cause for those aged 10-14 and 20-34. The concerning trend saw a 36% increase in suicide rates from 2000 to 2021, resulting in 48,183 deaths in 2021 alone, translating to approximately one death every 11 minutes.

Warning Signs for Suicide

Identifying warning signs is crucial for intervention and support:

  1. Talking about being a burden
  2. Social isolation
  3. Increased anxiety
  4. Expressing feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  5. Rise in substance use
  6. Seeking access to lethal means
  7. Heightened anger or rage
  8. Extreme mood swings
  9. Expressing hopelessness
  10. Changes in sleep patterns (either too much or too little)
  11. Verbalizing or posting about wanting to die
  12. Making specific plans for suicide

Protective Factors Against Suicide Risk

Individual Protective Factors:

  • Effective coping and problem-solving skills
  • Reasons for living (e.g., family, friends, pets)
  • Strong sense of cultural identity

Relationship Protective Factors:

  • Support from partners, friends, and family
  • Feeling connected to others

Community Protective Factors:

  • Feeling connected to school, community, and social institutions
  • Access to consistent and high-quality physical and behavioral healthcare

Societal Protective Factors:

  • Reduced access to lethal means for those at risk
  • Cultural, religious, or moral objections to suicide

Recognizing and fostering these protective factors at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels is essential in the broader effort to prevent suicide and provide support for those at risk.