Trust Magazine

Suicide Is an Urgent Public Health Problem in America

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  • Spring 2022
  • A New Collaboration for Vast and Lasting Conservation
  • Big Ideas, Big Results
  • Courts Shifted Online During the Pandemic
  • Garibaldi Glacier
  • Global Public Opinion in an Era of Democratic Anxiety
  • Noteworthy
  • Return on Investment
  • Small Cities Worry Cybersecurity Money Won’t Reach Them
  • Suicide Is an Urgent Public Health Problem in America
  • The Theranos Problem Congress Must Still Solve
  • Where Rivers Meet the Sea
  • Why Veterans With GI Bill Benefits Still Take Out Student Loans
  • Pew.Feature.Toolbar.ViewAllOtherIssues
Suicide Is an Urgent Public Health Problem in America

The Pew Charitable Trusts has launched a suicide risk reduction project and reports that suicide screening can connect people to treatment and save lives. The Centers for disease Control and Prevention says that more than 47,500 people died by suicide in 2019–which translates to one death every 11 minutes–and more than 12 million adults had thoughts of suicide.

More than 47,000 people die by suicide each year.
Suicide was the 12th-leading cause of death in the country in 2020.
Rate increase among females: 139% American Indian & Alaska Native, 68% White, 65% Black, 37% Hispanic, and 15% Asian & Pacific Islander
Rate increase among males: 71% American Indian & Alaska Native, 40% White, 9 % Black, 9% Hispanic, and 10% Asian & Pacific Islander
About half of all people who die by suicide interact with the health care system within a month of their death, giving health care providers a critical opportunity to screen for suicide.
Eight hospital emergency departments found 30% fewer suicide attempts among patients who were screened for suicide risk and received evidence-based care, such as additional screening and follow-up phone calls, compared with patients who were not screened.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741 to reach a Crisis Text Line counselor.

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