ISSUE: SUICIDE PREVENTION
STATEMENT: Each year in the U.S., thousands of Americans commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds. From 2002 to 2006 suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for young Hoosiers ages 15-19. According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, of In-diana’s 9th through 12th graders, 19.1% of girls and 12.4% of boys had seriously consid-ered attempting suicide in the last year. However, suicide is clearly not reserved for the young, as the rate of growth of suicide for older adults and veterans is increasing at alarm-ing rates. The lethal means affects the outcome, as men are more likely to use guns and the rates of successful attempts are greater as a result.
Mental Health America believes that suicide is preventable and that the individual needs to have his or her illness recognized and diagnosed, and appropriate treatment plans devel-oped. Adolescents, veterans, elder Hoosiers must all be educated and trained on suicide prevention and treatment must be available when needed.
MHAI supports evidence-based suicide prevention programs to help people identify mental health problems, connect individuals with care, and de-escalate crisis situations.
PRIORITY LEVEL: II