SUICIDE: The Dramatic Rise in Numbers

Depression has become more prevalent among the younger population, and with untreated depression often comes suicide. However, depression can be treated and suicide can be prevented.


What is Suicide? Where Does it Come From?

According to Merriam-Webster, Suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind. Suicide stems from depression which is a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant.

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

People who battle depression are often unable to live in a normal way. Suicide is described as a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, classmates, co-workers, and communities, as well as on our military personnel and veterans (AFSP).

Pamela Purifoy, Youth Service Worker at WHS

Uncovering the reason why an individual decided to kill themselves is complex and challenging. Research shows that 90% of people who die by suicide had a potentially treatable mental disorder at the time of their death—a disorder that often has gone unrecognized and untreated (AFSP).

Wayne State University sophmore, Marlecia Premise, has dealt with depression her whole life, and she has overcame multiple suicide attempts in the past. She says that many people feel like suicide is a form of escaping the difficulties people face in life.



According to SAVE-Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression affects about 20-25% of all Americans ages 18+ in a given year. 80% -90% of people who seek help for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication, but only half of Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receives treatment.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages and suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-44 years. For teens ages 15 to 24, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death, and it is also the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65 (SAVE).

According to AFSP, in 2013, 41,149 Americans committed suicide. Suicide accounted for 12.6 deaths for every 100,000 people nationwide, and suicide continues to claim more lives each year. SAVE explains that every day, approximately 105 Americans commit suicide, and there is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. There is one suicide death for every estimated 25 suicide attempts.

Globally, over 800,000 people die by suicide every year. There is one suicide death in the world every 40 seconds. An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (SAVE).

Pamela Purifoy, Youth Service Worker at WHS

Marlecia Premise, sophmore at WSU

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

Seeking Help

There are many resources for someone seeking help with depression.


For Wayne State University students, CAPS-Counseling and Psychological Services is one resource that can help someone who is feeling depressed and who is having thoughts of suicide. CAPS provides one on one counseling with individuals, and also group therapy to help those who are having thoughts of suicide.

Another good resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help someone who feels like they no longer have the desire to keep living. They can be reached by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255). “No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living” (NSPL).

suicide help

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is another great resource for someone to gain more knowledge about suicide, and learn ways in which they can help someone feeling suicidal. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention helps with someone coping with the loss of someone to suicide, and also someone who is feeling suicidal themselves. Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention organizes Out of the Darkness community walks, campus walks, and overnight walks across the U.S. to bring suicide out of the darkness and one day end Suicide altogether. The walks are in honor of all the lives that have been lost to suicide and for the families, friends, colleagues, and supporters of suicide victims.


Wayne State junior Megan Cory discusses her lost and her experience being a part of the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk.

If any teens are struggling with depression, Wolverine Human Services is another option for helping teens coping with depression. They will take children in who are dealing with abuse, neglect, and depression and mentor and care for them to help them overcome the problems that they are facing.


Things to Look For

Theresa Perlman, WSU University Counselor at CAPS

The most important thing to remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.



“Understanding Suicide.” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Save. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.” SAVE. GlobalCloud, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Suicide.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.

“Depression.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <;.


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