Suicide Fact Sheet


  Suicide Fact Sheet

Coast to Forest Resources

Thank you for exploring our fact sheet series. To learn more about substance use and mental health, check out our other fact sheets. To find local resources, check out the Coast to Forest County-Specific Resource Guides. For a variety of national and state-focused resources, please visit our Helplines & Practical Tools page.

Who is at Risk?

  • Suicide can impact anyone, regardless of their age or background.1 That said, some populations are disproportionally impacted by suicide including: 

    • Men, people living in rural areas, Veterans, LGBTQIA+ individuals, tribal populations, non-Hispanic white populations, people with disabilities, and middle-aged adults2, 3 

  • There are many different suicide risk factors including: 

    • Mental health challenges, substance use disorders, isolation, legal problems, financial problems, work problems, job loss, trauma, adverse childhood experiences, bullying, relationship problems, sexual violence, and family history of suicide1, 14 

Facts & Statistics

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationally and the 8th leading cause of death in Oregon3, 4 

  • In 2020, almost 46,000 people died by suicide nationally, which is equivalent to 1 death every 11 minutes5 

  • In Oregon, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those under the age of 256 

Warning Signs

  • A sudden change in behavior8 

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or trapped, wanting to die, or being a burden7 

  • Searching for information about ways to die7 

  • Increasing use of substances

  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves from others7 

  • Behaving recklessly, feeling anxious or unsettled, or experiencing extreme mood swings7 

  • Changes in sleep schedule or food consumption8 

  • Giving away possessions or saying goodbye to family/friends8


  • Suicide prevention is possible. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has complied the following evidence-based recommendations: 

    • Strengthen economic supports (e.g., improving financial security)9 

    • Improve access and delivery of care (e.g., improving access to mental health care in underserviced areas) 9 

    • Create protective environments (e.g., promoting safe storage for medications and firearms to reduce access to lethal means)

    • Promote connection (e.g., community engagement activities)

    • Teach problem-solving and positive coping skills (e.g., programs that students how/where to seek help)

    • Identify and support those at risk (e.g., Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training) 9, 10 

    • Harm reduction and future risk prevention (e.g., de-stigmatizing how we talk about suicide and including prevention resources when discussing suicide)

  • If you are concerned about someone, follow these steps: 

  1. Ask. Asking if someone is thinking about suicide opens a dialogue. It is important to underline that research has shown that asking does not increase suicidal thoughts or suicide11 

  1. Be there. This could include things like actively listening, being physically present, or other forms of support11 

  1. Keep them safe. Establish immediate safety and put time and distance between the person and an indicated method11 

  1. Help them connect. Help connect the person ongoing supports to create a safety net11 

  1. Follow-up. Keep checking-in with the person. This could be in person, via text, phone, etc11 


  • Stigma remains a big challenge for suicide prevention and the language we use to talk about suicide can contribute to this stigmatization. 12 

    • To combat stigma, try using de-stigmatizing language that does not place blame or perpetuate harmful sterotypes13



Committed/successful suicide 

Died by suicide 

Failed/unsuccessful suicide 

Suicide attempt 

Threatened suicide 

Disclosed suicidal thoughts/behaviors 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 1-800-273-8255 or 1-888-628-9454 (Español)  

      For teletypewriter (TTY) services: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255  

  • 24/7 confidential support for people in crisis as well as their families and friends. 

CDC Suicide Prevention Resources:  

  • Provides information about relevant publications, data sources, and general resources. 

SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center:  

  • Provides information, research, toolkits, and other resources. 

Coast to Forest Resource List:  

  • A comprehensive list of resources in Oregon, organized by county 


  • A suicide prevention campaign by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The campaign provides resources an action steps to help prevent suicide 

 Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR):  

  • QPR is a suicide prevention training that covers suicide warning signs and crisis response  

Mental Health First Aid:  

  • Training on how to identify and respond when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis 


  1. Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide

  2. Health Disparities in Suicide 

  3. America’s Health Ranking Annual Report: Suicide  

  4. National Center for Health Statistics: Oregon  

  5. Facts About Suicide  

  6. Youth Suicide Publications and Resources  

  7. We Can All Prevent Suicide  

  8. Warning Signs of Suicide  

  9. Suicide Prevention Resource for Action  

  10. Question. Persuade. Refer.  

  11. How and Why the 5 Steps Can Help  

  12. Suicide Language  

  13. Your Language Matters  

  14. Risk and Protective Factors  


This fact sheet was developed by the Oregon State University Coast to Forest team, a collaboration of the College of Health, OSU Center for Health Innovation and OSU Extension Service Family & Community Health program. We would like to thank the H 310 Health Field Experience students for their contributions.

For more information and to explore local resources, check out the Coast to Forest County-Specific Resource Guides.