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Suicide the leading cause of death for Oregon youth in 2018, according to CDC data

Other causes of death for Oregonians between the ages of 10 and 24 have dropped below suicide, according to the latest data.

Posted: Mar 4, 2020 5:49 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2020 5:53 PM

SALEM, Ore. — In 2018, suicide rose to become the leading cause of death for Oregon's young people, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Oregon now ranks 11th highest in the nation for youth suicide death rates, up from 17th in 2017.

What can I do? (Ways to help)

Join in the efforts. Creating a suicide-safe Oregon is everyone’s work. There are many projects underway in communities across Oregon. 

Individual level:

  • Be a trusted adult. Research shows that even one caring adult in a youth’s life is protective against suicide.
  • Get trained to recognize signs of suicide. Encourage your workplace, your friends, your faith community to get trained with you.

Community level:

  • School districts are working on their suicide prevention, intervention and postvention plan, as directed by Senate Bill 52. If your school district needs support or resources, staff can contact Lines for Life at schoolsupport@linesforlife.org or 503-575-3759.

Statewide level:

The CDC released the new numbers to Oregon health officials in February. The year earlier, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for Oregonians between the ages of 10 and 24 after unintentional injury deaths — but in 2018, the two flipped.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, the change was due to several factors. The suicide rate did go up, but unintentional injury deaths dropped as well. The latter includes fatal overdoses and motor vehicle crashes.

"Suicide continues to be a concerning problem in Oregon across all age groups, including youth, as this new data confirms," said Dana Hargunani, OHA’s chief medical officer. "We continue to prioritize work across Oregon to support young people in schools, at home and in our communities. Fortunately, we are able to apply best practices that work to prevent suicide, and there are many ways you can get involved."

That 2018 CDC data is included in Oregon's 2019 Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan annual report, which was released to the Legislature this week.

OHA says that advocates and state agency staff have been working to address this growing issue, requesting dedicated funding for suicide prevention in 2019. The agency said that Governor Brown included $6 million earmarked for suicide prevention in the 2019-2021 budget — the first time that it has received dedicated government funding in Oregon.

The funding goes toward a number of different programs and initiatives, according to OHA:

  • Fully funding Oregon’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • Creating statewide access to proven suicide prevention programming.
  • Providing funding to Oregon tribes for suicide prevention.
  • Addressing higher risk groups (LGTBQ youth, veterans, people with lived experience).
  • Supporting school districts to create and implement suicide prevention plans.
  • Funding youth peer-to-peer crisis intervention, outreach and youth development through the Oregon YouthLine.
  • Adding capacity to support suicide prevention programs at the Oregon Health Authority.
  • Additionally, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority are collaborating to implement Senate Bill 52 – also known as Adi’s Act – which requires school districts to have a suicide prevention, intervention and postvention response plan by the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The two agencies are also working together to support school safety (including suicide prevention), which is outlined in the Student Success Act (Section 36, pages 21 and 22).

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please know that help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline run by Lines For Life at 800-273-8255 or text '273TALK' to 839863. En español: 888-628-9454. TTY: 800-799-4TTY (4889).

Youthline is a teen-to-teen crisis and help line. Teens are available to help daily, 4 to 10 p.m. Pacific Time (off-hour calls answered by Lines for Life). Call 877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863 or chat at oregonyouthline.org.

See Crisis Services by Oregon County and a list of crisis lines on OHA’s website.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 354681

Reported Deaths: 4235
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55528700
Washington38530317
Marion36621448
Clackamas29551307
Lane27511300
Jackson22911308
Deschutes20066125
Umatilla14401146
Linn12732127
Douglas12019243
Josephine9334196
Yamhill8645111
Klamath7898116
Polk729981
Malheur559576
Benton543531
Coos498094
Columbia378143
Jefferson370752
Union317348
Lincoln317238
Wasco286540
Crook283546
Clatsop243229
Baker201528
Tillamook195929
Hood River191637
Morrow184023
Curry179825
Harney112126
Grant99513
Lake91812
Wallowa68312
Gilliam1534
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4835022

Reported Deaths: 71032
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148065626473
Riverside3708005020
San Diego3656704178
San Bernardino3577115627
Orange3237885538
Sacramento1589272303
Kern1455891632
Fresno1455032073
Santa Clara1452251898
Alameda1204021391
San Joaquin1024051721
Ventura1008821166
Contra Costa997401004
Stanislaus858701326
Tulare79709958
San Francisco54299645
San Mateo54046622
Monterey50815583
Solano45958341
Santa Barbara45074522
Merced42144580
Sonoma40895402
Placer39222424
Imperial35906764
Kings32708322
San Luis Obispo29863332
Madera23761285
Butte23726268
Shasta23637349
Santa Cruz20962218
Yolo20275248
Marin17674244
El Dorado17123149
Sutter13873174
Napa12871100
Yuba1003382
Tehama9448108
Humboldt9195108
Nevada912990
Mendocino760087
Lassen754347
San Benito742772
Tuolumne685589
Lake6593104
Amador542964
Siskiyou447046
Glenn435233
Calaveras387280
Del Norte357642
Colusa303318
Inyo208040
Mono16673
Plumas16198
Mariposa132815
Trinity87211
Modoc6795
Unassigned2260
Sierra1840
Alpine1030
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