Scope of the Problem Scope of the Problem

Accurate and timely data will help you better understand the scope of the suicide problem in the United States and in your local community. These data include information on suicide deaths, attempts, ideation, means of suicide, and differences among demographic groups.

SPRC encourages suicide prevention practitioners, health care professionals, policymakers, journalists, and others to use current data related to the suicide problem. In this section of our website you will find regularly updated data on the magnitude and patterns of suicidal behavior in the United States.

Suicide Deaths in the United States

Suicide rates by sex, homicide and suicide, and the geographic distribution of suicide.

Suicide by Age

Suicide rates by age, trends over time, and the leading causes of death by age group.

Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempts

Rates of suicidal ideation and attempts by age and sex.

Means of Suicide

Data on the methods people use to end their lives.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Suicide rates and patterns among racial and ethnic groups.

Suicide and Opioids

Data on pain reliever abuse, unintentional drug poisonings, and poisoning deaths by substances including opioids.

Suicide and Serious Mental Illness

Data on mental health and suicide.

The charts and graphs in this section are also available as a PowerPoint slide set. Feel free to use this slide set to deliver a presentation about the scope of the suicide problem.

Recommended Resources

‘Walk softly and listen carefully’: Building research relationships with tribal communities.

This document addresses the importance of considering culture, sovereignty, and experience when carrying out research involving Native communities.  

"De Facto" mental health system: A tool to understand the mental health system in rural communities, The

State/Tribal/Adolescents at Risk Suicide Prevention Grantee Technical Assistance Meeting. December 12-14, 2006, North Bethesda, MD. Describes the public health approach to understanding rural mental health delivery systems.

"Is Your Patient Suicidal?" Emergency Department Poster and Clinical Guide

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center developed the “Is Your Patient Suicidal?” Emergency Department Poster to provide emergency department personnel with information on recognizing and responding to acute suicide risk. The accompanying guide, “Suicide Risk: A Guide for ED Evaluation and Triage”, provides additional clinical guidance for ED personnel. The poster and clinical guide were developed […]