50 National Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide Resources offer support

50 Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nearly 50,000 people die by suicide annually.1 The impacts are far reaching, causing pain to families, communities, and the nation as a whole. Following is our comprehensive list of suicide prevention resources and strategies meant to support those impacted by this heartbreaking epidemic and to prevent further incidences of suicide.

What’s particularly tragic about suicide is that it is preventable. There have been tremendous efforts by suicide prevention and advocacy organizations to work with communities and families to provide free mental health resources, a place to be heard, and feelings of support that reinforce suicide isn’t a person’s only option.

Suicide Statistics in the U.S.

CDC statistics from 2020 show the following:2

  • Suicide rates had increase 30 percent since the year 2000
  • There were 46,000 suicide deaths
  • 1 person dies by suicide every 11 minutes
  • 2 million adults seriously considered suicide
  • 2 million people planned to take their life
  • 2 million Americans attempted suicide
  • 90 percent of those who survive a suicide attempt do not later die by suicide

The Effects of Suicide

There are broader effects of suicide, affecting the person if they survive, their families, friends, romantic partners, communities, employers, co-workers, and the even the economy.

According to the CDC suicide has the following impacts:1

  • Physical Effects: a person who survives suicide may sustain serious injuries that could impact their health in the longer term.
  • Emotional Effects: Those impacted by suicide experience a range of emotions, including grief and loss, shock, anger, anxiety, guilt, and depression. Experiencing suicide also increases an individual’s risk of taking their life by suicide.
  • Economic Effects: Suicide attempts cost the US $490 billion annually, in medical fees, quality of life costs, and lost business revenue.

College Student Suicide Statistics

Lend a Helping HandAccording to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, suicide is a leading cause of death among college students nationally. Key facts about suicide among college-aged students show:4

  • 7 percent of students seriously considered suicide
  • 3 percent of college students made a suicide plan
  • 2 percent of students attempted suicide

Risk factors associated with suicide among college students include:

  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Persistent physical illness
  • A lack of coping skills
  • Mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, or self-harm
  • Feelings of hopelessness or loneliness
  • Risky behaviors, like having unprotected sex or driving while intoxicated
  • Relationship issues
  • Limited access to healthcare and behavioral healthcare
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Experiencing stigma associated with getting and receiving mental health support
  • Access to firearms
  • Different types of abuse (Physical, sexual, or psychological)
  • Academic problems
  • Work troubles
  • High levels of stress
  • Problems at home, like mental health disorders or substance use problems
  • Lack of social and familial support
  • Bullying, discrimination, or racism.

Research shows that, the more risk factors a person experiences, the more likely the incidence of suicide.

Protective Factors for Students

There are a number of conditions (also called protective factors) that may reduce the chances of a student feeling like suicide is their only option. These protective factors include access to mental health support, strong social support networks, close relationships with teachers, being part of a community, and having strong problem-solving skills.

Suicide Statistics Among Different Minority Groups

Spending Time With Loved Ones

Unfortunately, research shows that some populations experience higher rates of suicide than others, according to the CDC. High risk groups typically include those who hold a minority identity, such as:3

  • People with disabilities
  • LGBTQ Youth
  • Tribal populations

There are also other disparities among those who live in certain geographic locations, people who work in occupations, and certain age groups. The next few pages illustrate how suicide statistics differ among these different populations.

Suicide Rates by Disabilities

Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to report suicidal thoughts than people without disabilities, according to the CDC.3 Research also suggests that people with disabilities report experiencing increased mental distress.5

That’s why the CDC is working with states considered high-risk, like Vermont, to reduce suicides deaths by limiting firearm access and increasing gun safety, increasing social and community supports, and improving access to mental health resources. Prevention efforts also include strengthening delivery of healthcare and behavioral healthcare in communities.

Suicide in LGBTQIA Communities

Data from the CDC shows that rates of suicide are higher in the LGBTQIA population.3 One contributing factor may be that people who identify as a sexual and/or gender minority also experience higher rates of substance use disorder, affecting up to 30 percent of this population. There are also higher levels of substance use and misuse among LGBTQ people because many social activities are centered around drinking and bars. Another factor is that alcohol companies market this segment specifically by placing gay pride flags on their products to show support for the community.

Other suicide risk factors for LGBTQ folks are that this community experiences

  • Higher levels of discrimination and mistreatment because of gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Increased rates of mental health disorders, such as anxiety and/or depression
  • Less access to healthcare and mental health resources and discrimination from healthcare providers.

Youth LGBTQIA Suicide Stats

According to the Trevor Project — a national suicide prevention LGBTQ nonprofit dedicated to young people — a staggering 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously considers suicide each year and at least one attempts suicide every 45 seconds. Researchers at The Trevor Project published the following LGBTQ suicide facts:6

  • 45 percent of LGBTQ youth had considered attempting suicide in the last year, which included more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth
  • Black transgender and nonbinary youth experience disproportionate risks of suicide with as many as 59 percent seriously considering suicide and 26 percent attempting suicide in the last year
  • LGBTQ youth of color reported the highest rates of attempted suicide in the last year, including:
    • 21 percent of Native/Indigenous youth
    • 19 percent of Middle Eastern/Northern African youth
    • 17 percent of multiracial youth
    • 16 percent Latinx youth
    • 12 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander youth
  • Those at the highest risk of suicide are Two-Spirit youths who were 2.5 times more likely to report suicide attempt in the last year, compared to LGBT peers.
  • Almost 50 percent of bisexual youth had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 27 percent attempted suicide (compared to 14 percent of heterosexual youth considering suicide and 6 percent attempting suicide).

There are several factors contributing to youth LGBTQIA+ suicide, such as: 6

  • Higher levels of victimization and bullying, discrimination, and rejection among friends, family, and even healthcare providers
  • The stress of holding a sexual minority identity
  • Lack of social support
  • Limited access to gender and sexuality-affirming spaces, including medical and behavioral healthcare
  • Being sent for conversion therapy and other religiously traumatizing practices
  • Identifying as transgender. (Research shows that transgender and nonbinary youth were up to 2.5 times more likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide in comparison to cisgender LGBQ population.7

Suicide By Age Group

The CDC found that middle-aged adults, older adults, and youth are the highest risk age groups for suicide, broken down as follows:3

  • 2 percent were middle-aged adults aged 35 to 64. Within this age group, suicide was higher among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native men. Followed by white women, who were the second highest group of middle-aged people experiencing suicide
  • 14 percent of suicides are among people aged 10 to 24. Other key statistics in this age group:
    • Youth have higher rates of emergency room visits for self-harm, accounting for 217,447 ER visits annually
    • Suicide is the second leading cause of death In the age group 10 to 14
    • Reports of suicide attempts were higher among young girls and ER visits from young females have doubled in the last 20 years
    • Native American youth also had higher rates of reported suicide attempts.
  • 10 percent of all suicides were adults aged 75 or older. However, men over the age of 75 have the highest rate of suicide compared to other age groups.

Suicide By Racial & Ethnic Groups

The CDC data shows the following rates of suicide per 100,000 population by racial and ethnic minority groups:

Ethnicity Men
Rates per 100,000 People
Women
Rates per 100,000 People
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native 36 percent 11.7 percent
Non-Hispanic White Americans 27.2 percent 6.9 percent
Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 20 percent *No information available by the CDC
Non-Hispanic Multiracial 14.5 percent 5 percent
Non-Hispanic Black 13.1 percent 2.9 percent
Non-Hispanic Asian 9.5 percent 3.7 percent
Hispanic White 13.1 percent 3.0
Hispanic Asian 9.6 percent *No information available by the CDC
Hispanic Multiracial 7.9 percent 3.1 percent
Hispanic Black 4.6 percent 1.8 percent
Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native 2.9 percent *No information available by the CDC

Data from the CDC also shows that certain racial groups experience higher rates of substance misuse. For example:3

  • Asian Americans: 8 percent of Asian Americans have substance use disorder, compared to 7.4 percent of the total population, and 6 percent have an illicit drug disorder compared to 3.2 percent of the total population.
  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color): 1 in 5 BIPOC experience mental health disorders, and some groups experience higher rates of addiction.
  • Native Americans: Due to historical atrocities, this population experiences:
    • Suicide as the leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaskan Native people aged between 10 and 34
    • Higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), domestic violence, and mental health disorders (including substance use disorder
    • Suicidal ideation, with approximately 35 percent of children aged 9 to 12 reporting suicidal thoughts

Veteran Suicide Stats

There have been higher rates of suicide among veterans than non-veterans (civilians), due to the extreme stress and trauma of combat. Veterans experience suicide at a rate 52 percent greater than civilians. This is also attributed to higher rates of substance use, and mental health disorders, like PTSD.

Key veteran suicide data from the CDC shows:3

  • 1 in 10 veterans returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan misused drugs or alcohol
  • More than 10 percent of US veterans have substance use disorder
  • 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan struggle with depression or PTSD
  • 33 percent of veterans seeking treatment for substance use disorders also have PTSD

Suicide Rates By Population Density

Living in rural areas or tribal community increase risk of suicide. According to the CDC, suicide rates increase as population density decreases, as follows:3

  • 5 percent in a rural area
  • 3 percent in a non-metropolitan area
  • 2 percent in a small metropolitan area
  • 3 percent in a medium metropolitan area
  • 5 percent in a large fringe metropolitan area
  • 9 percent in a large metropolitan area

Like other rates of suicide and groupings, race, and ethnicity are contributing factors. In rural areas, for example, suicide is highest among non-Hispanic Asian American males (59.6 per 100,000) and non-Hispanic white males (37.9 per 100,000).

Suicide Stats by State

According to the CDC, states with the highest suicide rates were:8

  • Wyoming (32 percent per 100,000)
  • Alaska (28 percent per 100,000)
  • Montana (26 percent per 100,000)
  • New Mexico (24 percent per 100,000)
  • Idaho (23 percent per 100,000)

CDC suicide data for all states:8

STATE RATE DEATHS
Alabama 16 793
Alaska 27.5 204
Arizona 17.6 1363
Arkansas 19 583
California 10 4144
Colorado 21.5 1302
Connecticut 9.3 364
Delaware 12.3 124
Florida 13.2 3135
Georgia 13.7 1491
Hawaii 12.9 184
Idaho 23.2 419
Illinois 10.5 1362
Indiana 15 1024
Iowa 18 552
Kansas 18.4 531
Kentucky 17.7 801
Louisiana 13.7 642
Maine 16.4 234
Maryland 9.2 585
Massachusetts 8.4 618
Michigan 14 1444
Minnesota 13.1 758
Mississippi 13.9 410
Missouri 18.2 1125
Montana 26.1 300
New England 14.9 283
Nevada 18.2 603
New Hampshire 16.4 234
New Jersey 7.1 679
New Mexico 24.2 516
New York 8 1642
North Carolina 13.2 1441
North Dakota 18.2 135
Ohio 13.8 1644
Oklahoma 21.9 869
Oregon 18.3 833
Pennsylvania 12.6 1694
Rhode Island 8.5 94
South Carolina 16.3 868
South Dakota  21 186
Tennessee 17.2 1220
Texas 13.3 3924
Utah 20.8 651
Vermont 18.1 117
Virginia 13.5 1202
Washington 15.2 1212
West Virginia 19.4 354
Wisconsin 14.5 866
Wyoming 30.5 182

Source: https://wonder.cdc.gov

Suicide Rates by Occupation

Occupation, or job role and industry, are a contributing risk factor for suicide. Suicide rates are higher among males working in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, and construction work, as indicated in the CDC data table, below.9

Industry Men
Suicide Rates per 100,000 People
Women
Suicide Rates per 100,000 People
Mining, quarrying, oil, and gas extraction 54.2 percent No data available
Construction and Extraction 49.4 percent 25.5 percent
Agriculture, fishing, forestry, and hunting 36.1 percent No data available
Transportation and Material Moving 30.4 percent 12.5 percent
Transportation and Warehousing 29.8 percent 10.1 percent
Other manual services, like mechanics 39.1 percent No data available
Installation, Maintenance and Repair 36.9 percent No data available
Protective Services No data available 14 percent
Healthcare Support No data available 10.6 percent

Like other high risk population groups, this data helps agencies like the CDC to certain industries in suicide prevention programming. Many states have identified high risk groups and sought to support them by providing employers and providers with suicide education, introducing peer support programs, and improving access to healthcare and behavioral health resources.

Suicide Warning Signs

Writing About Mental Health

According to the National Institutes on Mental Health, there are warning signs to watch out for in yourself or someone you know that might be contemplating suicide:10

  • Feelings: watch out for feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, depression, agitation, anxiousness, unbearable emotional or physical pain, or feeling like there is no reason to continue living.
  • Talking about death: a person may say they want to die or want to stop the pain of living. People experiencing suicidal ideation may also express that they feel like a burden to others, or they may talk about suicide as revenge.
  • Changes to behavior:
    • Thinking about death frequently
    • Using drugs or alcohol more often
    • Researching ways to die
    • Extreme mood swings
    • Engaging in risky behavior like, driving dangerously, or drinking and driving
    • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping all the time
    • Making a suicide plan
    • Showing rage
    • Socially withdrawing
    • Giving away important possessions
    • Changes to appetite
    • Putting affairs in order like making a will
    • Saying goodbye to friends or family

These are signs of a person experiencing high levels of emotional stress and should indicate the need to seek immediate help.

In the next few sections of this guide, you’ll find ways to support yourself or a loved one at risk of suicide, along with resources you can connect with in order to provide assistance.

Suicide Risk Factors

Data shows that living in a certain location, identifying as a racial, sexual, or gender minority and certain occupations, geographic locations, increases risk of suicide. In addition to demographic risks, there are other risk factors for suicide, such as:10

  • Having a mental health disorder, like depression or substance use disorder
  • Experiencing chronic pain or physical illness
  • A family history of mental health disorders or substance use/addiction, or suicide
  • Witnessing or being the victim of physical, sexual, or emotional violence at home
  • Substance misuse
  • Recent release from incarceration
  • Easy access to lethal means (firearms)
  • Exposure to suicidal behavior among peers
  • Stressful life events, like grief and loss, legal problems, the end of a romantic relationship, losing a job, and financial difficulties

Identifying Someone at Risk for Suicide

Medical providers and emergency departments have access to screening tools, which assess a person’s risk for suicide, such as:

  • Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASK) Toolkit
  • Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)
  • Patient Safety Screen (PSS-3)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
  • Suicide Assessment Five-Step Evaluation and Triage (SAFE-T).

Screening is paramount to suicide prevention; research shows it can double the number of patients identified as being at risk. Screening tools ask questions like:

  • In the past few weeks have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things?
  • In the past few weeks, have you felt that you and your family would be better off if you were dead?
  • In the past few weeks have you wished you were dead?
  • Have you had thoughts of killing yourself in the last week?
  • Have you thought about how you might do this?
  • Have you had these thoughts and had the intention of acting on them?
  • Have you done anything or made any preparations to end your life? What are those plans?
  • Have you ever tried to kill yourself?

Some organizations, like the VA, have partnered with the National Institute on Mental Health to identify veterans at risk through screening electronic records. This helps the VA to provide connect veterans with resources and ensure they have support when experiencing stress and suicidal ideation.

5 Steps to Help Someone at Risk of Suicide

There are five nationally recognized evidenced-based action steps to help someone at risk of suicide:11

  1. Ask them directly if they are thinking of killing themselves. Ask if they are hurt, or what is going on for them.
  2. Be there: listen to the person and allow them to express themselves freely. Do no judge, debate right or wrong, or lecture. Show only care, support, and listen.
  3. Keep them safe: it’s important to establish immediate safety by asking for more information about their plan and seeking to increase safety. This may mean making a plan to limit access to lethal means by removing firearms, even temporarily.
  4. Help them connect to resources: contact 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you, or someone you know, is experiencing a mental health crisis and you think they need support. Call or text 988; Chat via 988 lifeline.org; or Text 741741.
  5. Follow up: after you’ve connected the person with resources, stay until they have immediate assistance, and then follow up to ensure they are OK and have accessed mental health resources and support.

50 National Suicide Prevention Resources

We have compiled an extensive list of suicide prevention resources for families, youth, parents, educators, and those who have lost loved ones, are coping with loss, or seeking crisis information. You’ll find specific resources for racial, gender, and sexual minorities, too.

Crisis Lines

LGBTQIA+ Suicide Resources

BIPOC Suicide Resources

Youth Suicide Resources

  • Teens Health: provides tools and resources to support teens
  • The Trevor Project: a nonprofit dedicated to preventing LGBTQ youth suicide
  • GLSEN: a resource for LGBTQ youth in K12 education
  • Stopbullying.gov: tools and resources to identify, prevent, and stand up to bullying safely
  • Youth.gov: information on suicide prevention, national data, information, and resources on trauma and building resiliency.
  • The Jason Foundation: resources for students, parents, educators, and youth workers on supporting mental health crisis in youth
  • The National Association of School Psychologists: tips and resources for parents and educators about youth suicide.
  • The Jed Foundation: a nonprofit focused on protected emotional health and preventing suicide in teens and young adults, by providing skills training to thrive.
  • The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: education, information, and fact sheets for parents, educators, clinicians, and teens, to prevent teen suicide.

Veterans Suicide Resources

General Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources

Resources

  1. Facts About Suicide. (2022, October 24). CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html
  2. Ehlman, D. C. (2022). Changes in suicide rates — United States, 2019 and 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 71. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7108a5
  3. Disparities in suicide. (2022b, November 2). CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/disparities-in-suicide.html
  4. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2014). Suicide among college and university students in the United States. Waltham, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. from https://sprc.org/sites/default/files/migrate/library/SuicideAmongCollegeStudentsInUS.pdf
  5. Meltzer, H., Brugha, T., Dennis, M. S., Hassiotis, A., Jenkins, R., McManus, S., Rai, D., & Bebbington, P. (2012). The influence of disability on suicidal behavior. Alter, 6(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2011.11.004
  6. The Trevor Project. (2022). 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. The Trevor Project. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2022/
  7. ‌Price-Feeney, M., Green, A. E., & Dorison, S. (2020). Understanding the Mental Health of Transgender and Nonbinary Youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(6). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.11.314
  8. Stats of the state. (2022, March 1). Suicide Mortality. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/suicide-mortality/suicide.htm
  9. Peterson, C. (2020). Suicide rates by industry and occupation — national violent death…MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6903a1
  10. National Institute of Mental Health. (2022). NIMH» Warning Signs of Suicide. www.nimh.nih.gov. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/warning-signs-of-suicide
  11. 5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain. (n.d.). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/5-action-steps-for-helping-someone-in-emotional-pain
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