In this section I will highlight a few very alarming statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Here is the link to the full pdf:
Highlights from the PDF:
- As of 2006, suicide was the eleventh leading cause of death for all ages
This statistic shows that suicide is a social problem that affects all ages.
- More than 33,000 suicides occurred in the United States alone; 91 per day, one every 16 minutes
Keep in mind, that this statistic only includes people in the United States. Suicide is an epidemic that knows no national boundaries.
- Alcohol was a factor in 33% of those who committed suicide; opiates were present in 20% of those who committed suicide
A common theme on this website will be that drugs and alcohol affect your judgement and prevent you from thinking clearly.
- Among young adults ages 15-24, there is a ratio of approximately 150 to 1 of attempted suicides to completed suicides
This is probably the most eye-opening statistic for me, especially after comparing it to the ratio of attempted suicides to completed suicides for the 65 and older age group. For every four attempted suicides in this age group, one is completed (4 to 1 ratio). I interpret that to mean that the young teens and adults are screaming out for help, hoping that someone will hear them…someone will care. That is the reason I’m putting this information out to the public. I care, I’m listening. The statistics for the 65 and older age group are extremely alarming. Sadly, I believe this to be caused by a number of factors including: loneliness, despair, declining health, and troubled finances just to name a few.
- As of 2007, 14.5% of high school students reported that they had seriously considered committing suicide during the year prior to the survey
Let me break this down for you: basically every year, one out of every seven high school students in the United States seriously considers ending their own life. Walk around your schools! Consider the turmoil that so many of your peers are going through. You are not alone! I believe that we as adults and teachers, need to respond to this epidemic. I don’t have all the answers, but I am committed to doing whatever I can to help. I am here to listen!
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds and third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds
This is the statistic that inspires me to help. It highlights the epidemic of suicide among teens and young adults. It is one of the primary causes of death for people in the United States ages 15 to 34.
- Among 15-24 year olds, suicide accounts for 12% of all deaths
For every 100 deaths in this age group, 12 of them were suicides.
- In 2007, there were 561,317 people treated or hospitalized due to self-inflicted injury
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who attempt to hurt themselves. These are just the ones that were counted. Undoubtedly, there are many more.
- Two percent of students made a suicide attempt that required medical attention
There are many reasons that people who are suffering physically and emotionally do not seek help. Some are embarrassed or ashamed, others don’t know who to turn to, many feel alone, scared, or even apathetic. I understand all of these emotions. However, it is imperative that you reach out and seek help in any way you feel comfortable.
Here are a few possibilities:
Seek professional help (doctor, psychologist/psychiatrist, counselor)
- Talk to your parent(s) or guardian(s) about your feelings
Talk to a trusted teacher or school counselor
Talk to a coach or trusted adult
Call an anonymous suicide prevention hotline
Research potential resources online to learn more about how to cope with your emotions using positive outlets (hobbies and physical activity are great outlets for stress, anxiety, and depression
- Confide in a close friend
Whatever the method you choose, never give up! Never lose hope! I truly believe that every individual has periods of extreme hardship or deep emotional pain. However, for those that seek help, and for those that never lose hope, there is always the possibility of a beautiful, happy, and successful future. Sometimes, when you’re least expecting it, life hits you in the face with a reason to keep fighting, to keep surviving, and to keep living.
I will continue to update this section of the blog with information and resources that will be helpful for those in need. I will also be adding these resources to the links in the sidebar.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)