Depression and Suicide

Although most depressed people will never attempt suicide, most people who attempt or die by suicide are depressed.  Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatments for depression, such as individual counseling, group counseling, medication, or a combination of these.

In addition to depression, there are other emotional disorders that can increase a person’s risk for suicide such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or eating disorders. The best approach to treating suicidal individuals is to identify and treat any underlying mental disorder. This is especially important because, in the presence of an untreated emotional disorder, a stressful event such as a death, relationship difficulties, or a failed exam can sometimes push someone toward suicide. 

Asian American is the only racial/ethnic group that has suicide listed as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in New York City.

  • Elderly Asian American/Pacific Islander women have higher rates of suicide than whites or blacks. For women aged 75 and older, the suicide rate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders was 7.95 per 100,000, compared to the white rate of 4.18 and the black rate of 1.18.
  • Asian American and Pacific Islanders are significantly less likely than Caucasians to mention their mental health concerns to:
    • A friend or relative (12% vs. 25%)
    • A mental health professional (4% vs. 26%)
    • A physician (2% vs. 13%)
  • The highest rate, 27.43 per 100,000, was found among Asian males 85 and older.
  • From 2002 to 2005 suicide ranked as the third leading cause of death for those 15 to 24 years old.
  • Prior suicide attempts: 25% to 50% of people who commit suicide made previous attempts.
  • Previous suicidal threats: 75% of people who commit suicide give warning of intentions.
  • Recent death of a friend or acquaintance (especially by suicide): one third of suicide attempts are associated with a loss.
  • Drug or alcohol use: a significant number of people who commit suicide are under the influence at the time.

According to a joint report “Suicide among Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders” released by the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)