Who’s at Risk?
Suicide among teens and young adults has nearly tripled since the 1940’s. Several factors can put a young person at risk for suicide; however, having risk factors does not always mean that a young person will attempt suicide. Risk factors include: family history of suicide; history of depression, other mental health problems, or incarceration; easy access to lethal means; alcohol and drug use; exposure to previous suicidal behavior by others; and residential mobility that might lessen opportunities for developing healthy social connections and supports.
Suicide affects all youth, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide. Of the reported suicides in the 10 to 24 age group, 81% of the deaths were males and 19% were females. Girls, however, are more likely to report attempting suicide than boys. Native American/Alaskan Native youth have the highest rates of suicide-related fatalities. A nationwide survey high school students in the U.S. found Hispanic youth were more likely to report attempting suicide than their black and white, non-Hispanic peers.