Teen Suicide Statistics

Updated March 12, 2019
Teen sitting alone in dark room

Unfortunately, there are many teen suicide statistics out there. Year after year, too many teens believe that suicide is their only option. There are many resources out there to help teens, parents, friends, and family deal with possible teen suicidal ideation. Better understanding of teen suicide statistics can help put this serious issue into perspective and help prevent future tragedies.

Teen Suicide Statistics

While it can be difficult to examine the numbers related to teen suicide, these statistics can help highlight just how large the problem is.

Suicide Attempts

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, there are 130 suicides a day in the United States, ranking the problem as the 10th largest killer of Americans. Over 7 percent of teens ages 15 to 18 admit that they have made a suicide attempt within the last year. While the problem remains significant in all populations, it is one of the leading deaths of adolescents (those between 15 and 24) with 14.46 people in every 100,000 committing suicide each year.

Suicide and Mental Health

According to Teen Help, suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers. Around 90 percent of those who commit or attempt suicide experience symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and a possible comorbid diagnosis. More than half of teens who are using drugs or alcohol also have another mental health diagnosis putting them at an even higher risk for suicidal ideation and attempts. Teens who have attachment related problems, have experienced a single or multiple traumatic event, and have little support are also at risk for experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Gender Specific Data

According to Teen Help, four times as many males succeed at taking their own lives when compared to their female peers; however, females are three times as likely to attempt suicide. This is because men are more likely to use firearms or deadly weapons, versus women who gravitate towards self-poisoning.

Bullying and Abusive Relationships

A study examined how bullying and abusive relationships impacted the rate of suicide in around 11,000 high school students. Results noted that female victims of school bullying had higher rates of suicidality compared to their male counterparts, but male victims of sexual violence had higher rates of suicide compared to females. Physical dating violence had the strongest correlation to suicide attempts. Victims of bullying are between two and nine times more likely to commit suicide.

Female high school students bullying classmate

Warning Signs

Teen Suicide Statistics outlines many factors that can indicate a teen may be thinking about committing suicide such as talking frequently about death, writing depressed poetry, abrupt changes in behavior, acting recklessly, change in diet, isolating themselves, or using drugs and alcohol as a means to self-medicate. They may also give away their items and seem to be on an emotional upswing right before committing suicide. Teens who see these behaviors in friends or family members are advised to talk to an adult as soon as possible.

Girl alone at lunch

Planning and Committing Suicide

According to the CDC, 17 percent of teens have considered suicide as an option in their own lives with 13.6 percent of teens coming up with some sort of path or plan for committing the act. Eight percent of students have attempted to commit suicide at least once, resulting in 2.7 percent of attempters needing medical attention afterwards due to serious injury.

Look for Help

The amount of teen suicide statistics out there can be shocking and difficult to process. If you find yourself or one of your friends thinking about suicide, look for help. There are incredible resources available for those who are struggling with uncomfortable symptoms and pervasive thoughts. If you are in need of immediate help, reach out to the police, or call a 24/7 suicide hotline. Remember you are not alone and deserve the highest level of care possible.

Teen Suicide Statistics