Youth Suicide

Facts about Youth Suicide 

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • Among college students, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
  • According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, 8.6% of high school students, or over 1 in 12 reported having attempted suicide in the past year.
  • Each week in our nation we lose approximately 100 young people to suicide.
  • More teenagers and young adults have died from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, influenza, pneumonia and chronic lung disease combined.
  • In the past forty years, youth suicide rates have almost tripled. Between 1980 and 1996, suicide rates for ages 10-14 increased by over 100%. Although the suicide rates have declined over the last three or four years, it remains at an unacceptable level.
  • From 1981-1994, the suicide rate increased 83% for 15-24 year old African American males and 10% for African American females.  Since 1994, the rates have decreased 67% for males and 23% for females.
  • The Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System is a survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that includes national, state, and local school-based representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students. The purpose is to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth in the United States. The surveys are conducted every two years to determine the prevalence of these health risk behaviors. Behaviors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and those that indicate possible depression and/or suicidal ideation are included.

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