About every 12 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. It's he 10th leading cause of death nationally and accounted for 44,193 deaths in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And although many public health problems improved between 2000 and 2015, suicide rates climbed by 28 percent, with even higher increases among some groups. The rate among veterans and other military personnel, for example, almost doubled between 2003 and 2008.
CDC research shows that groups with disproportionately high suicide rates include middle-aged adults; American Indian, Alaska Native and white populations; lesbian, gay and bisexual youth; those living in rural areas; and workers in some occupations, including farming, fishing and forestry.
In addition, for every one adult suicide in 2015, II people were treated in emergency rooms for intentionally hurting themselves, 32 people attempted suicide and more than 221 people seriously considered suicide, according to the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Suicide takes a financial toll on families and states. In 2014, lifetime per capita costs from medical care and lost productivity due to suicide ranged from about $107 million in New Jersey to $338 million in Alaska, the CDC reports. The estimated national cost of deaths from suicide totaled $56.8 billion.
Lawmakers in at least 32 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation this year to establish suicide prevention hotlines, prevent suicide in schools and colleges, and develop or fund suicide prevention programs. Indiana lawmakers, for example, enacted legislation to develop a statewide suicide prevention program, and the Arkansas General Assembly enacted a bill requiring colleges to provide students with information on suicide warning signs and available prevention services.
Research shows that many of these strategies, as well as identifying at-risk individuals, ensuring access to services and addressing environmental and economic factors, can help prevent suicide. A new resource from the CDC provides a range of strategies based on the best available evidence to help states and...