Almost 10 Million Adults Considered Suicide In The Past Year

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and a recent report from federal health officials emphasizes how important suicide prevention really is.

According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), suicide rates are at historically high levels, jumping 27 percent since 2000. The report also shows that nearly 10 million adults in the U.S. considered taking their life just last year.

SAMHSA says almost 3 million adults thought out a plan to take their own life, and 1.4 million adults unsuccessfully attempted suicide.

While the percentage of adults who had thought about committing suicide has remained stable in recent years, the report shows increasing numbers of young adults are having similar thoughts. Among 18 to 25-year-olds, these dangerous thoughts had increased from 7.5% in 2014 to 8.3% in 2015.

The worrying statistics also say young women are increasingly making failed suicide attempts, rising from 1.5 percent in 2014, to 2% in 2015.

More than 42,000 Americans commit suicide every year, making it the 10th most common cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month aims to promote resources and awareness to help those struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts.

SAMHSA’s report suggests some groups face unique risks of contemplating or attempting suicide. For example, young adults were at the highest risk for suicidal thoughts compared to any other group. Their rate was more than twice as high as those aged 40 to 54 (8.3% to 3.5% respectively).

Older adults showed the lowest risk, with those 65-years-old or older reporting much lower levels of suicide thoughts in the past year (1.8%).

Major bouts of depression were distinctly common among those who had considered suicide. Nearly 30% percent of adults living with depression in the past year seriously considered suicide. Additionally, 10 percent made a plan to take their life, and 4 percent unsuccessfully attempted suicide.

While mental illness can be a driving factor in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, substance abuse and addiction also puts one at significantly higher risk according to the report. Those who abuse methamphetamines were uniquely at risk, with nearly 22 percent considering suicide in the past year.

SAMHSA released several warning signs in their report you should be watchful for if you believe someone you know may be depressed or committing suicide. These signs include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or commit suicide,
  • Considering ways to commit suicide,
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose,
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain,
  • Talking about being a burden to others,
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol,
  • Feeling anxious, agitated or engaging in reckless behavior,
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much,
  • Acting withdrawn or feeling isolated,
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact us at 888-298-HOPE (4673). We can provide support and help you get on the path to recovery. You can also contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for immediate help for people in crisis.   

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