Facts About Suicide

Facts About Suicide

Suicide is a major South Carolina public health problem.
• 665 residents in South Carolina died of suicide in 2012.
• Since 1999, South Carolina has averaged at least 1 person lost to suicide every day.
• The number of suicides in South Carolina is far greater than homicides for the past ten years.
• Suicide rates for South Carolina have steadily increased from 2007 to 2012.
• Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for college students, 3rd leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds, the 5th leading cause of death for 10-14 year olds and the 10th leading cause of death for overall population.
• It is estimated each completed and attempted suicide intimately affects six other South Carolinians.

There is a strong association between suicide and mental illness.
• The risk of suicide is increased by more than 50% in depressed individuals.
• More than 90% of completed suicides had one or more mental disorders as revealed by psychological autopsy studies.

There are gender, ethnic, and age differences in suicide.
• Males are 3.85 times as likely to die by suicide as females – although females attempt suicide three times as often as males.
• White Americans are more likely to die by suicide than Americans of other racial backgrounds.
• Suicide rates increase with age. The elderly (those over 65) made up 13% of the population in 2010; they accounted for almost 15.6% of all suicides.

The information for this fact sheet was gathered from the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control website (http://www.scangis.dhec.sc.gov) and the America Association of Suicidology website (http://www.suicidology.org)