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Suicide Risk Factors

blog_suicide-risksWe all hear a lot about suicide, especially in El Paso County and Colorado. Some data may surprise you. In fact, based on the data, our staff is at a far greater risk of suicide than our students. Below are the most current stats:

Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women.
On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2014.
Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides.
The rate of suicide is highest in middle age — white men in particular.
Males are 4x more likely than females to die by suicide
Females attempt suicide 3x as often as males.
The ratio of suicide attempts to suicide death in youth is estimated to be about 25:1, compared to about 4:1 in the elderly. Overwhelming emotions and a feeling of hopelessness can lead to people planning or committing suicides. Any change of behaviour in your loved ones is a danger sign and an immediate hand of help must be extended. Various sites, more so the educational ones have campus resources that lists out hotlines and educate masses about the signs to look out for.

Suicide rates by age:
– In 2014, the highest suicide rate (19.3) was among people 85 years or older.
– The second highest rate (19.2) occurred in those between 45 and 64 years of age.
– Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults.
— In 2014, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 11.6.

Western states consistently have the highest suicide rates in the US (the darker the state, the higher rate):

Below is how Colorado compares to the national average by year (Colorado is the higher line):

Suicide Methods:
• In 2014, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little less than half (49.9%) of all suicide deaths.
• The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 26.7%
• Followed by poisoning at 15.9%.

In Colorado:
• Suicide is that 7th leading cause of death in Colorado
• Colorado ranks 7th in the US for suicide rates (2014 data)
• Six times as many people die of suicide in Colorado annually than from homicide.

Next time, I’ll discuss risk and protective factors affecting suicide and what we can do to help.

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2014.
https://afsp.org/about-suicide/state-fact-sheets/#Colorado

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