Suicide Facts

General Public

Suicide is not a very common behavior, however it can be devastating for those closest to a person who attempts or completes suicide. According to the American Association of Suicidology 13.9 of every 100,000 people in the United States dies by suicide in 2016 (these are the most recent data).

Trans* and Gender Diverse People

The rates of suicide attempts and completions in the trans* community are alarmingly high, and everyone should be concerned about it. In a study conducted in 2017 the National Center for Transgender Equality reported that 40% of over 27,000 participants had attempted suicide at least once in their lifetime. Other researchers have reported similarly high rates of suicidal behavior.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following are suicide risk and protective factors:

Risk Factors

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts

Protective Factors

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation