"On average, one person dies by suicide every 16 minutes, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-old Americans."
A study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Public Health showed that suicide passed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death by injury. In addition, non-fatal, self-inflicted injuries also are a major concern. In 2011, 487,700 people were treated in emergency departments for self-inflicted injuries.
“Individuals who attempt suicide and don’t succeed are at risk for injury ranging from broken bones to brain damage to organ failure,” said Ann Marie Warren, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist at Baylor Dallas. “In addition, people who survive often have depression and other mental health problems.”
Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at a higher risk than others. According to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, suicide among males is four times higher than among females and represents 79 percent of all U.S. suicide deaths. However, females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts, and three times more women than men report attempting suicide.
Several factors can put a person at risk for attempting or committing suicide.
“Some of the risk factors include having an underlying mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder or schizophrenia, impulsiveness, feelings of hopelessness, having had a major physical illness, financial stress, or having a loss of an important relationship,” Dr. Warren said.
For individuals who are struggling, creating a circle of trust is paramount. The emotional support of a friend, loved one, or a peer can really make a difference during difficult moments. Using a support network creates a better coping mechanism for all the different emotions a person can go through during a crisis.