Among students in grades 9-12 in the U.S. during 2013

  • 17.0% of students seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months (22.4% of females and 11.6% of males).
  • 13.6% of students made a plan about how they would attempt suicide in the previous 12 months (16.9% of females and 10.3% of males).
  • 8.0% of students attempted suicide one or more times in the previous 12 months (10.6% of females and 5.4% of males).
  • 2.7% of students made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that required medical attention (3.6% of females and 1.8% of males)

Gender Disparities

  • Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides.1
  • Females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts.3
  • Suicide is the seventh leading cause of death for males and the fourteenth leading cause for females.1
  • Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (56.9%).1
  • Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females (34.8%).1

Racial and Ethnic Disparities

  • Among Hispanic students in grades 9-12, the prevalence of having seriously considered attempting suicide (18.9%), having made a plan about how they would attempt suicide (15.7%), having attempted suicide (11.3%), and having made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that required medical attention (4.1%) was consistently higher than white and black students.4

Age Group Differences

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10-14, the second among persons aged 15-34 years.
  • Among adults aged 18-22 years, similar percentages of full-time college students and other adults in this age group had suicidal thoughts (8.0 and 8.7%, respectively) or made suicide plans (2.4 and 3.1%).3
  • Full-time college students aged 18-22 years were less likely to attempt suicide (0.9 vs. 1.9 percent) or receive medical attention as a result of a suicide attempt in the previous 12 months (0.3 vs. 0.7%).3

REFERENCES:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2013, 2011) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer). Available from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/ wisqars/index.html.

2. Parks SE, Johnson LL, McDaniel DD, Gladden M. Surveillance for Violent Deaths– National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 states, 2010. MMWR 2014; 63(ss01): 1-33. Available from http:// www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6301a1.htm.

3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-49, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4887. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 2014. Available at http://www.samhsa.gov/data/ sites/default/files/NSDUHmhfr2013/NSDUHmhfr2013.pdf.

4. Kann L, Kinchen S, Shanklin SL, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2013. MMWR 2014; 63(ss04): 1-168. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ ss6304a1.htm.

5. Sullivan EM, Annest JL, Luo F, Simon TR, Dahlberg LL. Suicide Among Adults Aged 35-36 Years – United States, 1999-2010. MMWR 2013; 62(17): 321-325. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/ mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm.