Every 16 hours, someone dies from suicide in New York City

The NYC Health Department released this week two new reports detailing data around suicide deaths in New York City from 2010 to 2020. As Suicide Prevention Awareness Month draws to a close, the Health Department reminds New Yorkers that free mental health support is available to all residents through NYC Well.

In 2020, 542 people died of suicide in New York City, according to provisional mortality data in a new Health Department report. Based on this data, which is subject to change, the number of suicide deaths in New York City remained stable in 2020 compared to prior years. Over the last decade, the overall rate of suicide has remained flat in NYC, and is about half of the national rate, a second new report looking at suicide death trends from 2010 to 2019 found.

Every 16 hours, someone dies from suicide in New York City. Based on Community Health Survey data, 2.4% of NYC adults ages 18 and older seriously thought about killing themselves at some point in the past 12 months. Among those with suicidal ideation, 14.1% attempted suicide in the past 12 months.

Suicide is preventable. Warning signs that someone may be considering suicide include:
• Talking about death or suicide
• Showing or talking about feelings of hopelessness
• Saying they are a burden, avoiding friends and family
• Losing interest in activities
• Displaying mood swings
• Giving away possessions
• Saying goodbye to family or friends

A common misconception is that talking or asking about suicide will give someone the idea to harm themselves. This is not true. By asking, you are giving someone an opportunity to open up and allow you to help. Listen to their story without judgement and let them know you care.

New Yorkers seeking support with their mental health can connect to trained counselors and mental health services such as Mobile Crisis Teams through NYC Well. For free, 24/7 support in over 200 languages, call 888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), text “WELL” to 65173 or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell. If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of hurting themselves, or in immediate danger, call 911.

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