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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Suicide Prevention

Violence and Injury Prevention Section

  •  850-245-4455
  •  

    Mailing Address

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A13 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1722 

     

If you are feeling suicidal or in emotional distress:

Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. In emergencies, dial 911.

Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention
CDC's Strategic Plan
Suicide Risk and Protective Factors
Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition
FindTreatment.gov

Overview

Suicide is the act of taking one's own life by intentional self-harm or self-inflicted injury. Non-fatal self-inflicted injuries are more common, and not all self-inflicted injuries are suicide attempts.

In 2019, among Florida residents, there were 3,465 suicides and another 12,514 hospitalizations for non-fatal self-inflicted injuries.

Suicide affects all ages. It is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause among people ages 34-54, and the fifth leading cause among people ages 45-54.

Some groups have higher suicide rates than others. Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors. The highest rates are among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations. Other Americans with higher than average rates of suicide are veterans, people who live in rural areas, and workers in certain industries and occupations, like mining and construction. Young people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual have a higher rate of suicidal ideation and behavior compared to their peers who identify as straight.

For additional suicide and self-harm data, please see the Florida Injury Surveillance Data System page.

To help find ways to prevent violent deaths, we need to know the facts. The Violent Death Reporting System (VDRS) links information about the “who, when, where, and how” from data on violent deaths and provides insights about “why” they occurred. VDRS covers all types of violent deaths – including homicides and suicides – in all settings for all age groups.

Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention

The Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention is located within the Florida Department of Children and Families who facilitate the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council.  The Surgeon General or designee represents the Florida Department of Health on the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council. The Florida Department of Health’s Violence and Injury Prevention Section provides support for suicide prevention activities through the State Health Improvement Plan, Agency Strategic Plan and working closely with the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention.

The Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council work together to implement the Suicide Prevention Interagency Plan. The Violence and Injury Prevention Section participates on workgroups under the plan to coordinate components such as planning and evaluation, data analysis, targeting special populations, and communications. To learn more about the Interagency Plan, please read the Suicide Prevention Interagency Plan.

For more information on the Statewide Office, or the Florida Suicide Prevention Strategy, please contact the Department of Children and Families.

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CDC's Strategic Plan

Suicide is a critical public health problem in the United States. The good news is, Suicide is Preventable. Preventing suicide requires strategies at all levels of society. This includes prevention and protective strategies for individuals, families, and communities. Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs, promoting prevention and resilience, and a committing to social change.

Working with multi-sectoral partners, states and communities can use data to identify vulnerable populations at increased risk of suicide; leverage and evaluate current prevention policies, programs, and practices in the community; and fill prevention gaps by selecting, implementing, and evaluating multiple and complementary policies, programs, and practices with the best available evidence.

The CDC developed a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention that relies on data, science and action, grounded in a strong foundation of collaboration for maximum impact. Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices.

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Suicide Risk and Protective Factors

Suicide is associated with several risk and protective factors. Like other human behaviors, suicide has no single determining cause, instead occurring in response to multiple biological, psychological, interpersonal, environmental, and societal influences that coincide, often over time. A combination of situations could lead someone to consider suicide. Risk factors increase the possibility of suicide but may not be direct causes.

Known Risk Factors

  • Individual: history of depression and/or other mental illnesses, hopelessness, substance abuse, certain health conditions, previous suicide attempts, violence victimization and perpetration, genetic/biological determinants
  • Relationship: high conflict or violent relationships, sense of isolation, lack of social support, family/loved one’s history of suicide, financial and/or work stress
  • Community: inadequate community connectedness, barriers to health care (e.g., lack of access to providers and medications)
  • Societal: availability of lethal means of suicide, unsafe media portrayals of suicide, stigma associated with help-seeking and mental illness

There are individual characteristics and steps communities can take that may help protect people from suicidal thoughts and behavior. More research is needed identifying and understanding protective factors that help lessen risk factors.

Known Protective Factors:

  • Coping and problem-solving skills
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide
  • Connections to friends, family, and community support
  • Supportive relationships with care providers
  • Availability of physical and mental health care
  • Limited access to lethal means
To learn more about how to reduce the factors that increase risks for suicide and how to increase protective factors that promote resilience, please visit CDC Suicide Prevention.

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Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition

The Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition website provides a wealth of information on suicide prevention including upcoming events in Florida, data and statistics, state history and ways to become involved in your area.

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FindTreatment.gov

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collects information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness.

Find Treatment

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