This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
April 17th, 2009
Sobering Statistics
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers, following unintentional injuries and homicide.
  • Among college students, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
  • According to a recent survey, one in seven high school students reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide. Nearly one in 14 said they had actually attempted suicide one or more times.
  • According to a recent survey, nearly half of all college students say that they have felt so depressed or anxious in the past school year that they found it difficult to study.
  • In the last 60 years, the rate of teenage suicide in America has tripled.
  • In adolescents, psychiatric disorders such as depression or anxiety often go undetected and untreated for years. Statistically, pediatricians only pick up on about a fifth of these cases, and parents rarely pick up on them. Studies show they’re unaware of 90 percent of suicide attempts made by their teenagers.
  • It’s estimated that half of all serious adult psychiatric illnesses – including depression – begin by age 14.
  • Of the teenagers who die by suicide, 90 percent have a diagnosable mental illness at the time of their deaths.
  • Recent studies out of New York’s Columbia University find “simple, old-fashioned family time” can stave off the “literal and emotional isolation” that is often linked to adolescent suffering and substance abuse.
  • Teen girls are more likely to attempt suicide, but teenage boys are four to five times more likely to die by suicide. Among young people aged 15–24, males die by suicide almost six times more frequently than females.
  • Youth suicide rates vary widely among different racial and ethnic groups. In 2001, white youth had a suicide rate of 11.5 per 100,000, compared to rates of 7.3 for African Americans, 6.1 for Hispanics youth, 6.4 for Asian Americans and 18.8 for American Indians and Alaskans.
  • By age 18, 20% of teens will have one episode of depression.

To learn more about college students and mental health online please visit The JED Foundation and the American Psychiatric Association’s

Facts from:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Leading Causes of Death and Fatal Injuries, 2006 Mortality Report

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2006 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

2004 Survey by the American College Health Association
To learn more about college students and mental health online.

Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative, 2002, SK Goldsmith, TC Pellmar, AM Kleinman, WE Bunney, Editors, Committee on Pathophysiology & Prevention of Adolescent & Adult Suicide, Board on Neuroscience and Behavioral Health.

Produced by WNET.ORG   ©2022 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.