September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is working hard to raise awareness by sharing resources that help others recognize the warning signs for suicide and know how to get help.
The Facts About Suicide
According to the Center Decease Control, suicide, a serious public health problem is a leading cause of death in the United States. In 2021, suicide was responsible for over 48,000 deaths in the U.S. An estimated 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million made a plan for suicide, 1.7 million attempted suicide, and was the second leading cause of death for people ages 25-34 years.
Suicide in Arizona In Arizona, the most recent executive summary, required by A.R.S. §36-146 was prepared for the state in July of 2022. The report showed that suicide as compared to other causes of death in 2020, is the 10th leading cause of death in Arizona, with 1,359 certified deaths attributed to suicide among state residents. The report went on to show that in 2020, Arizona age-adjusted mortality rate for suicide (18.2 suicides per 100,000 population) was greater than the national rate (13.5 suicides per 100,000 population) of suicide that year.
Nationally, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 45,979 deaths attributed to suicide in 2020. In Arizona, as in the United States, suicide rates have been rising. From 2010 to 2020, the state’s suicide mortality rate increased by 9.0 percent (from 16.7 suicides per 100,000 population to 18.2 suicides per 100,000 population) while the national age-adjusted suicide mortality rate increased by 11.6 percent (From 12.1 suicides per 100,000 population to 13.5 suicides per 100,000 population). It is worth noting that while suicide mortality rates have generally been rising in Arizona from 2010-2020, the years 2018-2020 have seen a decrease from 19.5 suicides per 100,000 population in 2018 to 18.9 suicides per 100,000 population in 2019, and currently 18.2 suicides per 100,000 population in 2020. The report also showed that the most common methods of suicide in Arizona were firearm (60.9 percent), strangulation/hanging (22.1 percent), and poisoning by drugs (9.1 percent) with the most common location being in the home.
In an effort to raise and increase awareness, the ADHHS published a 2022-2023 Arizona Suicide Prevention Action, a comprehensive study and plan to provide immediate access to crisis support resources and immediate help and care. The most significant initiative for the plan is the rollout of the 988 national crisis hotline, a new dial-anywhere number that will allow an Arizonan in crisis to connect to help no matter where they are. If you or someone you know needs help, call or text #988, or chat at 988lifeline.org, to speak to a trained crisis counselor 24/7/365.