Suicide is a serious public health problem that causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. Many people may be surprised to learn that suicide was one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States in 2009. And death is only the tip of the iceberg. For every person who dies by suicide, more than 30 others attempt suicide. Every suicide attempt and death affects countless other individuals. Family members, friends, coworkers, and others in the community all suffer the long-lasting consequences of suicidal behaviors.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, claiming more than twice as many lives each year as does homicide.
On average, between 2001 and 2009, more than 33,000 Americans died each year as a result of suicide, which is more than 1 person every 15 minutes.
More than 8 million adults report having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, 2.5 million report making a suicide plan in the past year, and 1.1 million report a suicide attempt in the past year.
Almost 16 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 report having seriously considered suicide, and 7.8 percent report having attempted suicide one or more times in the past 12 months.
National Strategy for
SPAN-GA support the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (the National Strategy) It is the result of a joint effort by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance).
The National Strategy is a call to action that is intended to guide suicide prevention actions in the United States over the next decade. It outlines four strategic directions with 13 goals and 60 objectives that are meant to work together in a synergistic way to prevent suicide in the nation.
Suicide places a heavy burden on the nation in terms of the emotional suffering that families and communities experience as well as the economic costs associated with medical care and lost productivity. And yet suicidal behaviors often continue to be met with silence and shame. These attitudes can be formidable barriers to providing care and support to individuals in crisis and to those who have lost a loved one to suicide.