Ohio's Suicide Rate Has Risen 45 Percent Over the Last 11 Years

Incidents in which people between the ages of 10 and 24 have killed themselves have risen even faster — 56 percent. Suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans age 10-14 and second leading cause of death for those between 15-34.

click to enlarge Ohio suicide rates by county, 2014-2018 - Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio suicide rates by county, 2014-2018

An average of five people in Ohio commit suicide every day, a new report from the state says — more than 1,800 people in 2018 alone. 

The Ohio Department of Health's annual suicide report charts a large increase in the prevalence of suicide among Ohioans — part of a larger national trend — and shows that the rise in suicides has hit some groups, like young people and black men, especially hard.

Suicides in the Buckeye State have climbed 45 percent over the last 11 years, the report says. Incidents during that time span in which people between the ages of 10 and 24 have killed themselves have risen even faster — 56 percent. Suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans age 10-14 and second leading cause of death for those between 15-34. 

Suicides committed by black men rose 54 percent to 16 per 100,000 between 2014 and 2018.

Males in Ohio are four times more likely than females to commit suicide, the report says. Overall, white males have the highest overall suicide rates at 27 per 100,000, according to the report. Those suicides rose 24 percent between 2014 and 2018. 

Urban counties like Hamilton, Franklin and Cuyahoga have lower incidence of suicide — likely because there are more mental health resources available in those places. Rural counties in Ohio had the highest suicide rates. Meigs County, on Ohio's southeastern border, had the highest rate in the state with 24 suicides per 100,000 people between 2014 and 2018. 

The state's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services publishes suicide prevention resources, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine launched the Recovery Ohio initiative to tackle mental health and addiction issues. 

Those concerned about themselves or a loved one can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Find more resources at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


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