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Suicide is a Leading Cause of Death

suicide is a leading cause of death

Suicide rates are rising. Sad to say but understandably so. As we are starting to face the issue head-on, the conversation has opened up more. Though the stigma for those in crisis may still exist. By continuing to keep the dialog open and move toward more action we all can contribute to saving lives, precious human lives.

Suicide Basics

Suicicide is not the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. 

Basically, suicide reduces all options, possibilities, and hope. But to me, it is so understandable. Especially in the chronic illness space, there is so much suffering that I get it, I really do. Yet I still do not advocate for such a choice.

I am mentioning the suffering of the chronically ill because this is a chronic illness blog space. There are endless reasons a person becomes suicidal, all equally important.

For anyone who is not familiar with the basic terms of suicide…

  • Suicide is defined as death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior.
  • suicide attempt is a non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt might not result in injury.
  • Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Suicide Statistics

The statistics on suicides are scary. Suicide is now a leading cause of death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2017: 

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510).

2017 is old news, statistically. Here we are 2019 and the numbers keep raising. Remembering that these are actually people, not just statistics, I shutter to think about how the stats will look as they are published down the road.


Do you want more statists? Head over to NIMH Suicide Statistics article.

People Are Precious Human Beings

But people are not just a statistic. People are precious human beings. People are complex and have needs that are not being met — by others and themselves. So how do we face it head-on and help those who are suffering?

We face this crisis, we don’t hide from it.

If you have breath in you, YOU have the ability to help face this. Tomorrow I will talk more about the ways in which we all can help fellow humans (and ourselves) when the darkness of suicidal thoughts hits.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The crisis exists year round but September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is the perfect opportunity to find more people speaking up about their stories and others offering help.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Immediate Crisis…

  • National Prevention Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741)
  • The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889
  • Veteran’s Crisis Hotline Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to connect with VA responder
  • Veteran’s text message to 838255
  • Veteran’s  online chat session at

Get involved – be prepared and help others in crisis…

HEALTH COACH DISCLAIMER:  Health/Wellness coaching is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Trained and certified Health Coaches may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. As your health/wellness coach I do not provide a second opinion or in any way attempt to alter the treatment plans or therapeutic goals/recommendations of your personal physician. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals.

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