More than 30,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. It is this country's 11th leading cause of death, and the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24. Suicide is not about wanting to die, but about a powerful need for pain to end. People choose suicide because they feel unable to cope with feelings of pain, hopelessness, helplessness, isolation, and uncertainties.

Studies indicate that the best way to prevent suicide is through the early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses that lead to suicidal tendencies. Because people who want to die by suicide almost always suffer from isolation and loneliness, you can help them simply by reaching out, listening, and letting them know you care. Often, with time and the help of others, suicidal feelings do pass. Suicide is a permanent "solution" to what is most likely a temporary problem.

The more you know about suicide, the better you will be able to help someone struggling with these issues.