In the second half of the 20th century, the suicide rate among young people increased dramatically. Between 1952 and 1995, the incidence of suicide among adolescents and young people nearly tripled. In 2000, people under the age of 25 accounted for 15% of all suicides. For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is among the three leading causes of death, after unintentional injury and homicide.
Every two years, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey asks high school students nationwide about sadness, suicide ideation and attempts during the past year. In 2001, 28.3% of students had felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for more than two weeks that they stopped doing usual activities. Nearly one in five (19.0%) had seriously thought about attempting suicide, and 14.8% had made a specific suicide plan. Nearly nine percent (8.8%) had made one or more actual suicide attempts, and 2.6% had made an attempt that required medical attention in the past year.
Source: Grunbaum, et al. (2002); National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2003)
Surveys: Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 2001