Today, at least one person will die by suicide every 15 minutes. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 33,000 American lives annually. Over the past year, more than 8 million adults reported having serious suicidal thoughts, 2.5 million made a suicide plan, and 1.1 million reported a suicide attempt. The problem is pervasive—and it knows no boundaries, U.S. officials said Monday while launching a new nationwide plan to prevent suicide.
“This issue touches virtually every family, and certainly every neighborhood and community in this great nation,” said former senator Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters. Exactly nine years and two days ago, he lost his own son to suicide, and described the aftermath as “an overwhelming sense of grief and flow of tears.” “It’s an issue that registers as human, and not Democrat or Republican,” he said. “And it is something we can do something about.”