In 2007, suicide ranked as the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults (AAS, 2009); only accidents and homicides occurred more frequently. In recent years, more young people have died from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, congenital birth defects and diabetes COMBINED (CDC, 2009).

In the About Suicide section, you will find facts about suicide and depression along with the most updated statistics on youth suicide in the United States, California and Los Angeles County. You will also find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about youth suicide and depression, including special section called Suicide Survivors that is dedicated to the estimated 1 in 65 Americans who has lost a loved one to suicide.

Did you know.....?

    • Young males are much more likely to die by suicide than their female peers (AAS, 2009).
    • Female adolescents are more likely to attempt suicide than their male peers.
    • For every young person who dies by suicide, 100-200 youth attempt suicide. Only one of four youth who attempt suicide actually gets medical attention (AAS, 2009).
    • American Indian/Alaskan Native youth have the highest suicide rate followed by White, Black, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander youth (CDC, 2007).
    • Hispanic youth are more likely to attempt suicide than their peers (CDC, 2007).
    • Firearms remain the most commonly used lethal suicide method among youth however; in the last decade the suicide rate by firearm decreased while the rate for suffocation increased, especially in young girls (CDC, 2009).
    • Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder (NIMH, 2009).
    • It is estimated 1 in 33 children and 1 in 8 adolescents may suffer the symptoms of depression (NIMH, 2009).
    • Teenage girls are more likely to develop depression than teenage boys (NIMH, 2007).
    • A family history of depression (i.e., a parent) increases the chances (by 11 times) that a child will also have depression (NIMH, 2009).
    • Based on the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS), 26.1 % students in grades 9-12 reported a prolonged sense of depression over the past year; 13.8% of students reported they seriously considered attempting suicide while 10.9% actually made plans. 6.3% of students participating in the survey reported making one or more attempts in the past year (CDC, 2009).
    • Depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide and approximately 2/3 of people who die by suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths (AAS, 2009).

If you are having serious suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or call/text one of the crisis hotlines listed on this page.

    • California Youth Crisis Line (24/7): 800-843-5200
    • Crisis Text Line (24/7): Text START to 741-741
    • Teen Line (6-10pm): Call 800-852-8336 or text TEEN to 839863
    • Los Angeles Department of Mental Health ACCESS: 800-854-7771 (in-home psychiatric evaluation)
    • Suicide Prevention Center LA/Orange County (24/7): 877-727-4747
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7): 800-273-8255


Most of the information for this page was gathered from: Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project