Best Practices

Suicide Prevention

Approximately 2,000 U.S. adolescents die by suicide each year; approximately two million, or about one in five, attempt suicide; and almost 700,000 receive medical attention for an attempt. More than 90 percent of the adolescents who die by suicide also suffer from an associated psychiatric disorder. More adolescent suicide fatalities are boys because they tend to use methods that are more lethal, such as firearms. However, more girls attempt suicide than boys. The factors that increase youth vulnerability are varied and often interwoven.


  • Substance and/or alcohol abuse significantly increases the risk of suicide in teens aged 16 and older.
  • Youth suicide rates are higher among White adolescents. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are at increased risk for suicide attempts.
  • Adolescents who have experienced childhood sexual or physical abuse are also at increased risk for suicide attempts. High risk groups of adolescents often have multiple risk factors.Adolescents with learning disabilities have twice the risk of emotional distress, and females with learning disabilities are at twice the risk of attempting suicide and for being involved with violence than their peers.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Colorado teens. In 2011, there were 43 suicides among Colorado teens ages 15-19, for a rate of 12.3 deaths per 100,000 teens. More teens die every year by suicide than by homicide in Colorado. 

Background Documents

Evidence-Based Programs

Recommended Strategies

Related Colorado Programs 

 Related Topics