Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempts

Of those who have serious thoughts of suicide, many fewer make any suicide plans. Fewer still report suicide attempts or die by suicide.1,2

Across all age groups, a greater percentage of adults think about suicide than make a plan for it or attempt it.1

Women are at greater risk for suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and medically treated suicide attempts than men. However, men die by suicide at a higher rate than women.1

The percentage of female high school students who either considered or planned suicide is much higher than male high school students. Thoughts and attempts among high school students are higher than among adults in general.3


  1. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2021). 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD. Retrieved from
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2021). 1999-2020 Wide Ranging Online Data for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), Multiple Cause of Death files [Data file]. Retrieved from
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. (2021). 1991-2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data [Data file]. Retrieved from

The charts and graphs in this section are also available as a PowerPoint slide set. Feel free to use this slide set to deliver a presentation about the scope of the suicide problem.