SUICIDE PREVENTION FACT SHEET
Help-Seeking and Suicide Behavior among California youth
Programs designed to engage and educate youth about suicide prevention can reduce risk for suicide
when they are used in conjunction with other strategies, such as protocols and staff training1.
Youth suicide prevention education should include information about: recognizing warning signs, how to
appropriately respond to a friend, available crisis resources, and the importance of telling a trusted
• Youth who are suicidal talk with their peers rather than with adults about their concerns2.
• Although 40-68 percent of young people experiencing suicidal ideation turn to their peers
and family for assistance, fewer than 25 percent of those peers told an adult about their
friend’s problem or urged the young person in crisis to go to an adult for help3.
• Of the 217,646 calls made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the previous year,
more than 90% of those calls were answered locally by crisis centers in California4.
• Although youth die by suicide at lower rates compared to older age groups, about one in five
youth report thoughts of suicide.
• About 19% of 11th graders and 9th graders reported having seriously considered suicide in the
previous 12-month period5.
• Between 2009 and 2013, 446 youth aged 10-17 died by suicide in California (rate of 2.1 per
• Among college-aged youth (ages 18-24), 1,786 young people died by suicide over five years (rate
of 9.0/100,000) in California7.
• However, the suicide rate for young adults not attending college is about double that of those
who do attend college8.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
o Lifeline Crisis Chat available 24/7:
• Crisis Text Line:
o Text “Home” to 741-741
• Know the Signs:
o For more information on warning signs, how to find the words to offer help, and local
resources in every county