Suicide Prevention Report

In 2017 over 2 million Americans called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) seeking emotional support or resources for someone who was contemplating suicide. Many of the callers were experiencing suicidal thoughts or had attempted to end their lives in the past. Callers to the NSPL were from every corner of the United States. Callers were young and old, rich and poor, male and female, black, white and brown, religious or non-religious, gay and straight because suicide does not discriminate. Many were struggling with a diagnosed mental illness like depression, anxiety or mood disorders. Many people in crisis who called the NSPL were not suffering from a mental illness but were enduring extremely stressful life events like the loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, loss of a home, addiction, deployment, or returning from combat. What they all had in common was the need for help to prevent their own or a loved ones death by suicide.

In 2016, nearly 23,000 Americans used a firearm to end their lives. In Missouri, over 500 people used a firearm to end their life in 2016. The rate of suicide deaths with a firearm has increased nearly every year since 2006 making it the leading method by which Americans and Missourians end their life. The firearm suicide rate is currently twice the rate of suicide caused by suffocation, three times those resulting from poisoning, and twenty times higher than intentional falling deaths.