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Here are some facts and statistics on suicide by children and teens:

Statistic #1: More than 5,000 youth under the age of 25 kill themselves in the United States every year. Of these, around 2,000 are teenagers. (CDC, 1985)

Statistic #2: For every completed youth suicide, there are 7-10 attempts that result in hospitalization. (Ryan, 2007)

Statistic #3: For every completed suicide among youth, it’s estimated that between 300 and 350 serious attempts are made that are never reported. (Garfinkel, 1986)

Statistic #4: Around 2 million emergency room visits every year by school age and adolescent children are the result of suicidal behavior or ideation. (ibid)

Statistic #5: According to a 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of students in Tennessee, 17.5% of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide. 14.1% had made a suicide plan, and 8.9% had actually attempted suicide. (TCCY, 2004)

Statistic #6: Research shows that “as students age from 9th through 12th grade, the proportion who report feelings of depression rises, while at the same time the proportion reporting both suicidal plans or attempts declines. Yet rates of attempted and completed suicides actually rise as adolescents age. This discrepancy suggests that there is a rather significant difference between stated and actual suicidal behaviors that narrows as adolescents age.” (Ryan, 2007, p. 10) In other words, suicidal thoughts tend to decrease throughout high school, but those who remain suicidal are far more successful in actually carrying out the act.

Statistic #7: Statistics show that after a suicide attempt occurs, only one in five young people is directed for counseling and/or assessment and of this group only 10% get adequate and appropriate help to treat depression and other problems. (Sulik & Garfinkel, 1992) Other research has found that only a third of youth at risk for suicide and one-fifth of those with depression receive treatment. (TCCY, 2004)

Statistic #8: Boys and girls at age 9 are almost equally likely to commit suicide. By age 14, boys are twice as likely to kill themselves. By age 19, they are 4-times as likely to commit suicide, and by age 24, more than 5-times as likely. (Farrell, 2013)

Teen Suicide Statistics: What Drives Teens To Suicide

Statistic #9: Only about one-third of adolescent suicide victims appeared to satisfy clinical criteria for depression or other treatable mental illness. (Shaffer et al., 1988) Yet around one in 5 teen suicide victims did appear to have had clinical depression, and almost 4 in 10 appear to have had a diagnosable drug abuse disorder.

Statistic #10: Young people with a same-sex or bisexual orientation have suicide rates 5 to 10 times higher than their peers. (O’Carroll et al., 1992)

Statistic #12: The suicide rate among African-American youth is about one-third to one-fifth that of Caucasian teens. (Holinger & Offer, 1982)

Statistics on how teens kill themselves

Statistic #13: The primary method of suicide among adolescents is suffocation, or hanging. Firearms are the second and most frequently used means among boys, followed by poisoning. When it comes to girls, poisoning is the second most frequently used mechanism. Almost all non-fatal suicide attempts involve poisoning, usually an overdose of prescription or non-prescription medication. (Ryan, 2007)

Statistic #14: Having a gun in the home drastically increases the odds that a child will successfully commit suicide. For example, New Jersey, with a population of 2.3 million youth between the ages of 5 and 24, had 17 firearm suicides in 2003; whereas Arizona, with a much smaller youth population (1.6 million) but far higher gun ownership rates saw 76 youth firearm suicides in the same year. (Ryan, 2007)

Statistic #15: Teen suicide victims who were intoxicated were 7-times more likely to have used a firearm than those with no alcohol in their bloodstreams. (TCCY, 2004)

Statistic #16: Most research shows that 75% of all completed suicides occur on the first attempt, especially those involving boys. (Hoberman & Garfinkel, 1988)

Youth Suicide Trends

Trend #1: Suicide among youth ages 15 to 24 has more than tripled in the past 50 years. (O’Carroll et al., 1992)

Trend #2: According to a study on May 18th, 2015, Jama Pediatrics, the suicide rate among black children ages 5 to 11 doubled from what it was in the 1990’s to 2.51 per one million kids. (Time, June 1, 2015, p. 13)

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