Who is at risk to commit suicide?
Who is at risk to commit suicide?

Risk is unrelated to race, culture, education, income, or marital status. More women attempt to commit suicide. However, men succeed in killing themselves more often than women. Children are also at risk for suicide, which is the third-leading cause of death for young people between 15 and 24 years of age in the United States. Suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death for 10-14-year-olds.

People are at risk for attempting suicide who:

  • Feel depressed or have a family history of depression.
  • Have a family history of suicide.
  • Are using illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Have access to a gun.
  • Have tried to commit suicide.

In youth, the strongest risk factors are depression, alcohol or other drug use disorder, and aggressive or disruptive behaviors. Children who are perfectionists and over-achievers may also be at risk if there are other problems, such as depression or family problems.

  • Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know is in suicidal danger.
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) – National Hope Line Network.
    (Available 24 hours/7 days)
  • Call National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To learn more:

Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and Prevention
(National Institute of Mental Health)
Suicide Facts from the National Institute of Mental Health provides statistics on suicide, based on 2007 data. Click on the tab "Suicide" to find the statistics.
Older Adults and Depression
The National Institute of Mental Health provides a fact sheet about depression and suicide in the elderly.
Depression and Suicide in Men
NetDoctor, a general health site in the United Kingdom, answers questions as to why men kill themselves more often than any other group. Included are risk factors and treatments for depression.
Women and Suicide
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides facts about women and suicide. Select ABOUT SUICIDE and then select FACTS. Click on Suicide in Women.

next » What are warning signs of suicide?

Written by: Janice C. May, M.P.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Tuesday November 16, 2010 11:07 AM