Colorado’s suicide rate reaches record numbers in 2012

More Coloradans died by suicide in 2012 than ever before, says the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.

The state’s suicide death toll has been climbing in the past decade, giving Colorado one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. In 2012, 1,053 people in the state completed suicide, representing a rate of 18.7 per 100,000. That’s the highest number in Colorado history and a 15.8 percent increase from 2011.

“Far too many Coloradans struggle with thoughts of suicide, and far too many die when they are unable to manage debilitating mental, emotional or physical pain,” said Jarrod Hindman, manager of the office of suicide prevention at the CDPHE. “But suicides can be prevented. There are resources available for individuals and families in crisis.”

While more men than women die by suicide, the suicide rate has increased for women in most Colorado counties and for nearly every age group.

Among Coloradans age 20 to 64 years, suicide rates increased 16.7 percent, from 23.4 per 100,000 adults to 27.3 per 100,000 in 2012. The only age groups to experience a slight decrease were teenagers and older seniors.

A total of 810 men committed suicide last year, but the suicide death rate for women is on pace with that of men, increasing 18 percent from 207 deaths in 2011 to 243 in 2012.