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National Suicide Prevention Week --- September 9--15, 2007

Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States and the third leading cause among youths and young adults aged 10--24 years, accounting for 4,599 deaths in this age group in 2004 (1). Approximately 142,000 visits are made to emergency departments by persons in this age group each year to receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries (1).

Known risk factors for suicide include 1) a previous suicide attempt, 2) history of depression or other mental illness, 3) alcohol or drug abuse, 4) family history of suicide or violence, 5) physical illness, and 6) feeling alone (2). However, because U.S. mortality data lack information on many risk factors for suicide, reasons for subgroup vulnerabilities are not addressed. Using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, CDC has begun to compile additional information about the circumstances of suicide to better understand why suicides occur and how they might be prevented.

During National Suicide Prevention Week, September 9--15, 2007, CDC encourages parents, educators, health-care providers, and health authorities to learn more about suicide, including the groups at greatest risk, warning signs for suicide, and potential prevention strategies. Additional information is available at


  1. CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2007. Available at
  2. US Public Health Service. National strategy for suicide prevention: goals and objectives for action. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, US Public Health Service; 2001.

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