Status of Suicide in Tennessee 2012

Click to download a free copy of the report.

The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network has published its Status of Suicide in Tennessee 2012 report, detailing suicide trends and prevention efforts in Tennessee.

This report is intended to provide state legislators, mental health professionals, and the general public with information on the problem of suicide in our state and what is being done to prevent it.

The report includes a detailed report on suicide trends within Tennessee, both overall and for various subgroups. In 2010, the latest year for which state-specific figures are available, Tennessee’s age-adjusted suicide rate was 14.7 per 100,000 population, translating into 932 reported suicide deaths. This rate and number are down from previous years but are still above the national average of 11.5 per 100,000 as reported for the year 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide is the second-leading cause of death within adults aged 25-34 and the third-leading cause among youth aged 15-24, and the fourth-leading cause among children aged 10-14 and adults aged 35-44.

Suicide trends over the past several years are discussed, including stable suicide rates among teens but rising rates through adulthood and midlife. The current trends are also broken down by race and gender—revealing white males to be at greatest risk—and by individual counties. Attention is also given to the nature of non-fatal versus fatal attempts and common suicide methods—almost two-thirds of all suicides in Tennessee involve a firearm.

The document also includes a summary of common suicide risk factors and an account of TSPN’s suicide prevention projects. Special mention is given to last year’s 10th Anniversary Symposium. Over 250 people attended this event, held April 29, 2011 at Trevecca Community Church in Nashville, which was highlighted by the presentation of a joint resolution from the Tennessee General Assembly honoring the Network for its ten years of service to the people of Tennessee. The resolution was presented by Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of the State of Tennessee, and it received a public reading on the floor of the State Senate on March 30, 2011.

The report concludes with a listing of suicide numbers and rates for all 95 Tennessee counties for the years 2005 through 2010.

The Network would like to thank the Office of Health Statistics within the Tennessee Department of Health for its assistance in developing the new report, as well as Dustin Keller of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

Hard copies of this document are available upon request. Printing was made possible thanks to generous donations in memory of Jacob Rogers (1993-2011). This report is dedicated in his memory.

The previous version of this report, issued in 2010, is also available for review.