A new study has found that one in 13 American adults has contemplated suicide within the last year. The rate of 7.4 percent translates to 2.6 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 25.
Kana Enomoto, principal deputy administrator at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), said, “Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young adults, and it is preventable. We need to reach out to young people with the message that help is at hand, and promote effective programs for saving lives by treating people at risk whenever and wherever they need it.”
Dr. Robert Dicker, psychiatrist at Northwell Health, added, “Breaking down barriers regarding mental health, improving access to mental health services, better parental involvement and increasing awareness of crisis intervention hotlines are all necessary.”
The new findings come from looking at data from 2013-2014, which also showed a significant difference in rates of “serious suicidal thoughts” among young adults across each state.
New Hampshire is on the high end with a rate of 10.3 percent and Texas was on the low end at 6.2 percent. Other states with higher rates included Alaska, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah. Some states with the lowest rates were Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia.
Researchers are still unsure what makes up for the differences. Dicker theorized, “Perhaps it may be due to state differences in family fragmentation, differing rates of substance use, depression, economic issues impacting more in some states, differing access to treatment services.”
Researchers suggest that Americans can benefit from a greater awareness of mental health issues and resources in order to help reduce rates of suicidal thoughts.
Warning signs of suicide include thinking or talking about killing oneself, increased abuse of alcohol or drugs, a sense of purposelessness or hopelessness, as well as anger, recklessness, significant mood changes, or withdrawal from friends, family, or other social contacts.
People who are in crisis or are concerned about someone else in crisis can call the Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255) and be rapidly connected to the nearest crisis center to receive help.