Every year 1 in 10,000, or nearly 35,000, Americans commit suicide. More than half of these people use firearms. Suffocation is the preferred method in nearly a quarter of suicides, followed by poisoning at 18% of suicides. More than 90 percent of people have depression or other mental disorders, or a substance abuse disorder. Family history of mental disease, suicide, or violence and abuse are the other causes of suicide. Men are almost 4 times as likely to commit suicide. Men tend to pick suicide by firearms, whereas women prefer poisoning. The suicide rate in non-Hispanic white men age 85 or older is 4 times as high as the national average. The suicide rate is also nearly 30% higher in people ages 65 or older. Ethnically, Alaska Natives and Native Americans have the highest suicide rates.
If you think someone is suicidal, the National Institute of Mental Health recommends not to leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including unsupervised access to medications.
CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics calculated age adjusted suicide rates by state. Here are the 10 most suicidal states in America:
10. Oregon: 15.2 suicides per 100,000
9. Utah: 15.4 suicides per 100,000
8. West Virginia: 15.9 suicides per 100,000
7. Arizona: 16.1 suicides per 100,000
6. Colorado: 16.4 suicides per 100,000
5. Nevada: 18.3 suicides per 100,000
4. Montana: 19.4 suicides per 100,000
3. Wyoming: 19.7 suicides per 100,000
2. New Mexico: 20.4 suicides per 100,000
1. Alaska: 22.1 suicides per 100,000