In Tennessee, an estimated 1,000 men, women, and children die by suicide each year. More people die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS, or motor vehicle accidents. Suicide is the leading cause of violent deaths in our state, nationally, and worldwide, far above homicide and death due to natural disasters. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 15-24 in Tennessee and for the United States at large. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
•75% of all people who die by suicide are male.
•Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4x more likely to die by suicide.
•Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people in the U.S. ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54.
•The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001.
•46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a suicidal emergency, call 911 immediately. If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.