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April 21st, 2009
08:03 PM ET

Staggering stats on suicide

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Editor’s Note: The Trevor Project, which runs the only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, gathered the statistics below. If you or someone you know needs help from The Trevor Project, call their helpline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) or visit their website at http://www.thetrevorproject.org]

-In America, more than 32,000 people commit suicide each year (2005 Center for Disease Control).

-Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among 15 to 24-year-olds; only accidents and homicide occur more frequently (2006 National Adolescent Health Information).

– Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college campuses (2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

– For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made

(2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).

– Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey).

-Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (2007 San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute).

Suicide Warning Signs

-A tendency toward isolation and social withdrawal
-Increasing substance abuse
-Expression of negative attitude toward self
-Expression of helplessness or hopelessness
-Loss of interest in usual sorts of pleasure
-Giving away valued possessions
-Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. “It won’t matter soon anyway”).

A person who has been extremely depressed in the past may be at an increased risk for suicide if the depression begins to cease, as they may now have the psychological energy to follow through on a suicidal ideation.


Filed under: 360º Follow
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Lauren B.

    Anderson,

    This is so sad. What is happening to us and our children?
    Do you have other stats on this subject? Has there been an increase in these numbers with each subsequent year? Is there additional info. re: causations? i.e. Anti-depressants, videos/movies, video games,TV, lack of parent involvement, a huge increase in and access to porn and violence in all media.

    We have got to wake up and do something....but what?

    http://twitter.com/aflowernto

    April 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  2. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Pain is good.. Without it we might all might sensesly injure ourselves all the time beyond ridiculous and without any prior any warning whatsoever.. Depression is also good.. It’s a way for our subconscious to communicate with us.. Like warn us, tell us something, or prepare us for what might possibly lay ahead of us in our future. And that’s why it’s very normal for a teenager to have depression during those growing up years (Big decisions!) But to silence one’s own conscious with drugs, alcohol or suicide is a sin.. For an Hollywood actress for example with ex boyfriends in the hundreds, a career in the flesh and a raggedy doormat soul to call her own should not be encouraged to perpetually silence her own conscious with prescription drugs only to keep mortgaging her how mortal life and soul to the highest bidder. If you have a conscious and realize that life is not always easy or autonomous to your senses, don’t use chemicals or suicide to silence your conscious. What grater power can one have over his/her own life?

    April 21, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  3. denise ford

    @Susan...oh I can't imagine. I just can't imagine what you are going through. I have a 22 year old son that I never thought would pull it together after going through school with ADHD...i was always afraid of what you have gone through. Looks good now but still wait for the other shoe to drop. xoxoxoxo

    April 21, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  4. RoseParvin

    Staggering State on Suicide: And it is going up because of all the tragedies going on in U.S. and around the world. It is not just the tragedies happening to the young people that is causing this oppression and depression that is far more dangerous than the usual adjustment disorder feelings of relocation or divorce of parents; this one is deep and alarming and needs prevention. Aside from the Global Bullies there are those who have role modeled after them and have been bullying the student inside the campus and making the days that should be sunshine and schooling and learning and experiencing like hell on earth!

    April 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Jon C.

    In this time when all is seeming to be lost, people loosing homes and kids pressuring each other either into angry rage, or thoughtless acts. all say to dilute their own pain.. Right now we need to be a whole society and not just parts, online or in person.. Supporting and encouraging.. one another..

    April 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  6. Brandon, Oakland, CA

    I care very much BTW. I have known about these stats for a long time. I think this is horrible.

    April 21, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  7. Susan

    I have a very talented, genius IQ son attempt suicide 11/07/2007. He was shy, hardworking, and tormented for a condition called ocular albinism that made him different. He will never be allowed to drive because of his impairment. Teasing doesn't stop in high school. He was making great money as a restaurant manager and got hooked on cocaine because it made him come out of his shell. He took money from work to support his habit which went against all his morals and values. He checked himself into a hotel, took 2 bottles of tylenol PM and wrote me a letter that haunts me to this day. Luckily a vigilant hotel worker checked on him when he hadn't checked out! He was critical for days! Yes you can die from a tylenol overdose. Luckily with counseling and lots of love he has recovered. But as his mother, I'm not sure I have....

    April 21, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  8. Brandon, Oakland, CA

    From what I have seen on the blogs and comments after articles about the LGBT community, it seems as if MOST people really could care a less about this.

    Or is it just me and I am missing all the comments from people who are willing to stand up for rights that don't affect them?

    April 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  9. KJ

    Wow, really sad in most cases that life has little value. Other than feeling sorry for those with the depression disease, we need to figure out how to do more than just 'medicate'.

    April 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  10. DCH

    Thank you Anderson for spreading the word.

    April 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  11. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    what disturbs me about this post is that the age groups dont begin until 15, when we are hearing of younger and younger kids doing this.

    where are those statistics? those are the ones i want to see.

    April 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  12. Jonny, KY

    These are horrifying statistics– but really worth knowing.

    I hate some institutions make the argument that LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide in DEFENSE of their bigotry. Uh, no! It's because you have millions of people telling you you're wrong and worthless.
    I still cannot believe that another little 11 year old boy hung himself because of taunting. Heart breaking.

    April 21, 2009 at 8:53 pm |