Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempts

In addition to the thousands of people who die by suicide every year, many more attempt suicide but do not die. For every suicide death, there are approximately:

  • 3 hospitalizations for a suicide attempt
  • 9 emergency department visits for a suicide attempt
  • 27 attempts that do not result in hospitalizations or emergency department visits

Making a plan can be a precursor to a suicide attempt. Approximately 40 percent of people who make a suicide plan go on to make a suicide attempt. But it is important to remember that more than 15 percent of people who attempt suicide do not engage in any planning. Note that this chart does not include suicide attempts that resulted in death.

The rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts decline with age. However, the suicide rate generally increases with age. See suicide rates by age.

Women are at a greater risk for suicidal ideation, attempts, and medically treated attempts than men. However, men die by suicide at a higher rate than women. See suicide rates by sex.

Rates of ideation (i.e., considering and planning suicide) among female high school students are nearly double that of male high school students. Suicide thoughts and attempts are higher among high school students than among adults in general, although deaths are lower among adolescents than among adults.

Suicidal thoughts decrease with age and are slightly higher among females than males.