Suicidal behavior exists along a continuum from thinking about ending one’s life (“suicidal ideation”), to developing a plan, to non-fatal suicidal behavior (“suicide attempt”), to ending one’s life (“suicide”).
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death among Americans. Each year, more than 32,000 people take their own life. Even more people survive suicide attempts than actually die, so these statistics are only part of the problem.
Those who attempt suicide and survive may have serious injuries, and they often have depression and other mental health problems. The reasons behind suicide or attempted suicide can be complex, but there are often warning signs.
Suicide can be prevented. Prevention efforts should address all the levels that influence suicide—the individual, relationship, community, and society.