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Suicide Prevention - By the Numbers

September, 2020

Almost 45,000 people die annually in the United States from suicide. More than 1,300 of these suicide deaths are in Michigan.

Numbers tell an alarming story. Suicide happens daily in our communities, but we are not helpless to stop it. To understand the range of how suicide affects Michigan, we have gathered statistics for the years 2014 to 2017 from the Michigan Violent Death Reporting System (MI VDRS):

  • More than 5,300 Michigan residents died by suicide.
  • Men were more likely than women to die by suicide in any age group.
  • Firearms were used in half of Michigan suicide deaths.
  • Women were more likely than men to use poison.
  • Strangulation, suffocation, or hanging accounted for nearly 1,200 male suicides, 324 for females.
  • Women were more likely than men to have a history of multiple suicide attempts (34 percent vs 16 percent).
  • Women were more likely than men to be diagnosed with a current mental health problem (60 percent vs 46 percent) or receive a diagnosis of depression (48 percent vs 36 percent).
  • Circumstances that contributed to suicide deaths varied with age, but family problems (25 percent) and school problems (16 percent) were more of a factor for youth.
  • Problem drinking (25 percent) and financial problems (12 percent) were more of a factor for middle-aged adults.
  • Depressed mood (26 percent) and physical health problems (72 percent) were more of a factor for the elderly.
  • Alcohol was the most commonly found substance in suicide deaths, followed by benzodiazepines and opiates.

In Kalamazoo County, we have many resources available to help:

  • Family & Children Services – Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) for Kalamazoo County youth up to 17 experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 269-373-6000 and ask that Mobile Crisis Response be paged. You will be asked some identifying information and an MCR clinician will call you back within 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK) – 269-373-6000
  • Gryphon Place - 211 or 269.381.HELP
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-TALK (8255) or Suicide Prevention Resource Center – sprc.org
  • Crisis TEXT line – text HELLO to 741741, 24/7, free and confidential
  • YWCA - 269-345-5595 – sexual/domestic assault/violence issues, support group


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