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Assessing Risk of Suicide


  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12.3 minutes. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

Assessing for Suicide:

  • Are they feeling hopeless, or that life is not worth living?
  • Have they made plans to end their life?
  • Have they told anyone about it?
  • Have they carried out any acts in anticipation of death (e.g. putting their affairs in order)?
  • Do they have the means for a suicidal act (do they have access to pills, insecticide, firearms...)?
  • Is there any available support (family, friends, carers...)?

Unfortunately, the stigma associated with mental illness often keeps people struggling with depression from getting help. If you know someone who struggles, begin asking questions. Start the conversation, despite how uncomfortable it might be. Ask the individual the following questions:

  • "Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?"
  • "Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?"
  • "Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?"
  • "Have you thought about what method you would use?"

If the individual is in immediate danger, call 911 or drive him/her directly to the emergency room. If the individual is not in immediate danger, validate his/her feelings and make a plan to get support/help before the risk increases. Motor City Center for Hope offers immediate appointments for those at risk of suicide. Call 313-208-3407 to schedule an appointment or schedule directly through our scheduling page. NEVER MINIMIZE THE RISK OF SUICIDE! If you read the statistics at the top of this page, it's clear that suicide is real and does happen way too often. Let's work together to decrease those numbers and help those that are struggling regain hope. Call 313-208-3407 or email us today!