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Facts and Resources
The Center for Disease Control estimates that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no single cause of suicide as it impacts all ages and genders. Understanding the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, as well as having knowledge of available resources, can help prevent suicide.
Facts About Suicide
Risk and Protective Factors
According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) risk factors are characteristics of a person or his or her environment that increase the likelihood that he or she will die by suicide (i.e., suicide risk).
Major risk factors for suicide include:
- Prior suicide attempt(s)
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Mental disorders, particularly depression and other mood disorders
- Access to lethal means
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
- Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
Protective factors are personal or environmental characteristics that help protect people from suicide.
Major protective factors for suicide include:
- Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions
- Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
- Life skills (including problem solving skills and coping skills, ability to adapt to change)
- Hope for the future-optimism
- Strong sense of self-worth or self-esteem
- Family and community support
- Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers immediate phone or chat assistance: 1-800-273-8255
Veterans Crisis Text Line offers immediate assistance for veterans, text 838255
Crisis Text Line offers 24 hour crisis text support, text HOME to 741741