Thursday, June 23, 2016

SAMHSA Estimates 1 in 13 Young Adults Experienced Thoughts of Suicide in Past Year

An estimated 2.6 million adults aged 18 to 25 in the United States—roughly 1 in 13 young adults—reported experiencing serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“Behind the statistics on completed suicides are the troubling large numbers of Americans who think seriously about committing suicide every year and do not receive mental health treatment,” Rachel Lipari, Ph.D., of SAMHSA and colleagues wrote. “Highlighting the prevalence of suicidal thoughts across states may help federal, state, and local policymakers continue to plan for and allocate resources to reduce the negative perceptions associated with mental and emotional issues, seek suicide prevention support, and increase access to mental health treatment.”

The findings of the report were generated from combined results from the 2013 and 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, which included questions about suicidal thoughts and behaviors over the past year. The estimates do not reflect information from adults whose suicide attempts in the past year were fatal.

The rates of young adults with serious thoughts of suicide over the past year ranged from 6.2% in Texas to 10.3% in New Hampshire. Other states with the highest rates of past-year suicidal thoughts among young adults included Utah, Montana, Michigan, and Ohio; lowest rates were reported in the District of Columbia, Kansas, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Overall, the rate of serious suicidal thoughts among young adults remained relatively the same between the 2012-2013 period and 2013-2014 period both nationally and within each of the states—with the exception of New Hampshire, where it increased from 8.4% in 2012-2013 to 10.3% in 2013-2014.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Rural Radio Program Becomes Mental Health Outreach to Youth.”


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