Suicide is a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, classmates, co-workers, and communities, as well as on our military personnel and veterans.
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At AFSP, our efforts to prevent suicide are firmly rooted in our understanding of why it occurs.
As is true for all leading causes of death, treatments and interventions that aim to reduce and prevent suicide are solidly rooted in scientific research. Scientific research has been a unique and essential part of our overall mission since the organization was formed in 1987.
Not so long ago, suicide was a taboo topic. You just weren't supposed to talk about it. Fortunately, some people did, and we have come to understand it as a significant public health concern.
In 2013 (the most recent year for which full data are available), 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 12.9 minutes.
Risk factors for suicide are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take her or his life. Suicide risk tends to be highest when someone has several risk factors at the same time.
Our effectiveness in preventing suicide ultimately depends on more fully understanding how and why suicide occurs.
Frequently asked questions about suicide.
In an Emergency, Contact:
- Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic
- Hospital emergency room
- Urgent care center/clinic
- Call 911