Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors:
Young Adults at Risk
An estimated 8.4 million adults age
18 and older (3.7 percent of the adult
population) had serious thoughts of
suicide in the past year, according to a
recent report from SAMHSA’s National
Survey on Drug Use and
Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
among Adults: 2008 and 2009 also
shows that 2.3 million adults made a
suicide plan in the past year, and that
1.1 million adults—0.5 percent of all
adult Americans—had actually attempted
suicide in the past year.
Of the 1.1 million adults who attempted
suicide in the past year, 61.2 percent
received medical attention for their suicide attempt, and 43.9 percent stayed
overnight or longer in a hospital for their suicide attempt.
Young adults age 18 to 25 were more
at risk than older age groups in three
categories (serious thoughts about suicide,
suicide plans, and suicide attempts).
For example, 6.4 percent of adults
age 18 to 25 had thought seriously about
suicide, as opposed to 4.1 percent age 26 to
49 and 2.3 percent of those age 50 or older.
While 1.9 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds
had actually made suicide plans, only 1.0
percent in the 26 to 49 age category had
done so, and 0.6 percent of those age 50
or older had made suicide plans.
The rate of young adults age 18 to 25
who actually attempted suicide was 1.2
percent, as opposed to 0.5 percent among
those age 26 to 49, and 0.2 percent for
those age 50 or over.
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Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (December 21, 2010). Figure 2. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in the Past Year among Adults,
by Age Group: 2008 and 2009. Rockville, MD.