Facebook Pixel Suicide | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content




Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death.


Did you know?

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.

Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people.

About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.

Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year.

Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment.

Over 38,000 Americans die by suicide every year.


Major Protective Factors for Suicide:

  • Effective behavioral health care
  • Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions
  • Life skills (including problem solving skills and coping skills, ability to adapt to change)
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide


Major Risk Factors for Suicide:

  • Prior suicide attempt(s)
  • Misuse and abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  • Mental disorders, particularly depression and other mood disorders
  • Access to lethal means
  • Knowing someone who died by suicide, particularly a family member
  • Social isolation
  • Chronic disease and disability
  • Lack of access to behavioral health care









Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 7/1/19