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Rates of Youth Considering, Planning, or Attempting Suicide is Very High in Idaho

According to the CDC’s 2021 Risk Behavior study of high school students in Idaho: 

  • 21.3% seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months; 

  • 19.7% Percentage of students who made a plan about how they would attempt suicide during the past 12 months; 

  • 10.9% Percentage of students who attempted suicide one or more times during the past 12 months;  

  • 3.4% Percentage of students who attempted suicide during the past 12 months which resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse 

Idaho high school students are 22% more likely than the national average to make a plan to commit suicide and 25% more likely to attempt suicide. 

In an April 2023 article of Idaho Ed News article, “Increases in Youth Suicides and Depression Prompt Communities to Brighten Schools, “it said, “Idaho’s youth suicide rates are distressing. The Bureau of Vital Statistics reports that those rates have increased from 8 to 10.7 (per 100,000 children aged 10-17) between 2016 and 2021.  

America’s Health Rankings pegged Idaho at 46th — one of the worst in the nation — for teen (ages 15-19) suicide completions (2020).  

Exacerbating the problem are the shortage of mental health care providers, lingering impacts of the pandemic, and stresses generated by social media.

The Boise School District recently completed its third wellness survey. Idaho Ed News reported in October of 2023 that “When asked, 30% of junior high and 44% of high school students reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms in the two weeks before the survey. Additionally, 29% of junior high students and 34% of high school students had had thoughts of suicide in the past six months.” 

If you are concerned about a loved one, reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988 on your phone.