#Bethe1to Know: the facts
Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the US
In 2020 there were 45,979 deaths by suicide and 1.2 million suicide attempts
14.2 per thousand people died by suicide in 2018, on average that equates to 132 suicide deaths per day
The rate of suicide is highest among middle-aged white males
Firearms accounted for 52.83% of all suicide deaths in 2020
Stats provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
According to the NYS Community Health Indicator Report Orange County had 121 deaths by Suicide between 2017 and 2019.
What Is Suicide?
Suicide is when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and they die because of their actions. It’s best to avoid the use of terms like “committing suicide” or a “successful suicide” when referring to a death by suicide as these terms often carry negative connotations.
A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the intent to end their lives, but they do not die because of their actions.
Who Is At Risk For Suicide?
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk.
The main risk factors for suicide are:
- A prior suicide attempt
- Depression and other mental health disorders
- Substance abuse disorder
- Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Having guns or other firearms in the home
- Being in prison or jail
- Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure
- Medical illness
- Being between the ages of 15 and 24 years or over age 60
Even among people who have risk factors for suicide, most do not attempt suicide. It remains difficult to predict who will act on suicidal thoughts.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Suicide?
Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
Warning sign: Talk
If a person talks about:
- Killing themselves
- Feeling hopeless
- Having no reason to live
- Being a burden to others
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
Warning sign: Behavior
Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
Warning sign: Mood
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
- Loss of interest
- Relief/Sudden Improvement
What Can I Do?
What can you do when someone is at risk?
- Have an honest conversation
- Talk to them in private
- Listen to their story
- Tell them you care about them
Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide
- “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
- Have you thought about how you might hurt yourself?
- Is there anything that would prevent you from harming yourself?
Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice
#Bethe1to: Be there:
- Take the person seriously:
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The information provided on this page is from the National Institute of Mental Health
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention