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Suicide Prevention

Call 988 in an Emergency

If you are feeling vulnerable or suicidal or are worried about someone, call 988, the national number for all mental health, substance use, and suicide crises. For more information on this lifeline, visit the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Suicide Knows No Boundaries

It can affect any age group, ethnicity or race. It has nothing to do with your income or education. Suicide can become a tragedy for anyone.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among all Americans and the second leading cause of death among young (10-34) Americans. In 2019 (the latest year for which national statistics are available) there were 130 suicides per day or five suicides every hour in the United States. The 2019 suicide rate in Alabama was 16.4 per 100,000, which is higher than the 2018 U.S. rate of 14.5 per 100,000 ( Age-adjusted rates were 16.3 per 100,000 and 13.9 per 100,000 respectively).

Suicide in Alabama

Fact #1 - The suicide rate 16.4 is much higher than the homicide rate (12.0), both in Alabama and in the U.S. as a whole.

Fact #2 - In 2018 and 2019, more than 78% of all Alabama suicides were males of all races.

Fact #3 - The most common and most lethal method of suicide is by using firearms. The most recent U.S. data (2019) showed that 50% of suicides used firearms. In Alabama approximately 67.5% of suicides used firearms during 2019.

Alabama Suicide Fact Sheet provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health

View Alabama Vital Statistics 2018 on the Alabama Center for Health Statistics Website for the following reports

  • Table 56 (Suicide Deaths and Death Rates by Race and Total US Rates, Alabama 1970-2018)
  • Table 57 (Suicide Deaths and Death Rates by Age Group, Race and Sex Alabama, 2018)

Why Do People Become Suicidal?

Feeling suicidal can result from a variety of risk factors and personal conditions that combine to make a person feel hopeless and believe that it is impossible to change the situation. Help is available. Most people who attempt suicide but do not complete suicide are grateful that they did not die.

Major risk factors for suicidal behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • A history of depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental illness diagnoses
  • A serious personal loss or number of losses and defeats taken personally
  • Low self-esteem and self-loathing
  • Social isolation
  • Believing there is no hope for feeling better
  • Chronic alcohol or other drug use
  • Easy access to the means for dying, such as guns

Usually suicide is the result of a combination of these factors. Help is available, and you do not have to suffer emotional or psychological pain alone. Many people feel so despondent and hopeless that they believe the only thing that will end the pain is suicide. Suicide is a permanent act in response to what are often temporary problems. Please ask for help now.

Page last updated: August 30, 2022