DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s suicide rate is at a 15-year high.
This Sunday is the start of National Suicide Prevention Week, which aims to remove the stigma surrounding discussions of mental health, while at the same time lowering the number of deaths caused by avoidable self-inflicted means.
More than a thousand Coloradans each year take their own lives. The state has one of the nation’s highest suicide rates, a number that has been rising for decades. More Coloradans between 10 and 44 years old died by their own hand than any other cause except accidents.
According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, 21.5 people died by suicide in Colorado in 2020 per every 100,000 people. This was the nation’s seventh-highest suicide rate.
States with large rural populations tend to have higher suicide rates as suicides occur more frequently in rural areas. Suicide rates are consistently highest in mountain and western states, led by Wyoming, Alaska and Montana.
This is a nearly decade-long trend. Since 2014, Colorado’s suicide rate has been among the nation’s 10 highest in every year except 2017, when it was the eleventh highest. The state’s rate has been consistently rising for the last 15 years.
Colorado’s suicide rate has risen 35% since 2004, from 17 to 23 last year — the highest rate in that time.
If you or anyone you know needs a lifeline, please call 988, 844-493-8255 or text “talk” to 38255. The Colorado Crisis Service Hotline has people standing by whenever you need to talk.