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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

ISSI > Teen Suicide > Overview Overview

If you are experiencing a crisis call: 1.800.SUICIDE


Youth suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for young people ages 15 – 24 in our nation today and the SECOND cause for college-age youth. Suicide even affects pre-teens and is the FOURTH leading cause of death for youth ages 10 – 14.

Nationally and in Indiana, youth suicide impacts our communities and families. Suicide among Hoosier teens has increased and now ranks ahead of murder as a cause of death for Indiana teenagers. In fact, teen suicides have outnumbered homicides in three of the last four years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 99 Indiana youth between the ages of 10 and 24 committed suicide in 2004. All 92 Indiana counties have suffered at least one youth suicide in the last 10 years.

It is very important that we educate students, educators, youth leaders and parents about the alarming statistics of youth suicide and then begin to work together toward prevention. In the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the CDC, Indiana results provide us an insight to the impact of youth suicide in our state.

  • When asked if they had experienced a feeling of hopelessness and sadness for a constant period of two weeks or greater during the past 12 months (the possible beginning of clinical depression) – 27.5% (more than 131,000) of Indiana youth said they had felt that way; that is ONE out of every FOUR youth.
  • When asked if they had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, 15.8% of Indiana youth reported they had; that is almost ONE out of every SIX. That means 75,000 will consider suicide in the next 12 months.
  • A survey revealed that 11.7% of Indiana youth had gone as far as to construct a plan to commit suicide; that is ONE out of every EIGHT. More than 55,000 Indiana youth are projected to make a plan over the next 12 months.
  • ONE out of every 14 of Indiana's youth, or 7.2%, attempted suicide in the past 12 months and more than 34,000 are projected to make an attempt in the next 12 months.

*Projected using 2007 YRBS and 2005 school population figures from U. S. Department of Edcuation

Today, more than 40 Attorneys General have joined efforts with the Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) in addressing the issue of youth suicide. The Jason Foundation (http://www.jasonfoundation.com/) is a national leader in providing educational programs for students, educators, youth leaders and parents. These programs provide the information, tools and resources to identify at-risk youth and find them help.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is proud to offer, in collaboration with the JFI, the Parent Resource Program. By visiting The Jason Foundation Web site, you will find an overview of the problem of youth suicide, tools and other resources to help educate participants about prevention efforts.