suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S.

According to the CDC, 47,646 Americans committed suicide in 2021, and men accounted for 76% of those deaths. However, there were approximately three suicide attempts by women, for every one by a man. More men die by suicide because they tend to use more lethal force, such as guns and hanging, than women.

The CDC also reports veterans, people who live in rural communities, the LGBTQIA+ population, middle-aged adults, and Native Americans disproportionately experience factors linked to suicide. These factors include substance abuse, job or financial problems, relationship problems, and physical or mental health problems.

People who have experienced violence, including adverse childhood experiences, such as physical abuse, bullying, or sexual violence, have a higher suicide risk, and these also contribute to mental health issues.

mental health and suicide

risk factors

The following are common risk factors leading to suicidal thoughts:

  • A family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse
  • A serious or chronic medical illness
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • A recent tragedy or loss
  • Severe depression

warning signs

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • Giving away possessions
  • Lack of interest in the future

If you have suicidal thoughts, please do whatever you can to see a mental health professional.

Asking for help can save your life!

If you need help immediately, or have a loved on in crisis, call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Hotline.

To learn more about different mental health conditions and their symptoms, visit the mental health definitions page.

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

– Juliette Lewis

there is hope

if you or a loved one is contemplating suicide

  • Medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two are the most common ways to treat underlying illnesses that often lead to suicidal thoughts. If you have tried these paths of treatment before, there are other methods, such as TMS, EMDR, and ketamine therapies.
  • CBT works to relieve suicidal thoughts by showing you other solutions to your problems and new ways to think about yourself. Learning to be more assertive, solve problems, overcoming social anxieties, and mindfulness may reduce the symptoms of what is challenging you.
  • Research strongly supports the use of medication to treat the underlying depression associated with suicide. These medications are not physically addictive, though they may take three or four weeks before you begin feeling better.

suicide & crisis hotline

The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

Tap here to call the 988 Lifeline.

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