Preliminary Data Shows Suicides Increased Among Illinois’ Minorities, Young Adults, Elderly

ILLINOIS — While the total number of suicides in Illinois declined from an average of three previous years, preliminary data from the Illinois Department of Public Health showed some populations took their own lives at a higher rate.

In the first three quarters of 2020, compared to the 2017-2019 average, suicides declined by 6.8%. Preliminary data provided by IDPH for the first three quarters of 2020 show 984 individuals took their own lives. The three-year average before 2020 was 1,056.

Further breakdown of the data by population showed a 27.7% increase in suicides among Black people and 6.3% increase among Hispanic people. Suicides declined 11.7% among white people.

Data IDPH provided Thursday showed suicides increased 7.4% for people between 18 and 24 years old. For those 65 and older, suicides increased 2.8%.

“Suicide does not discriminate based on race, gender or age,” IDPH said on its suicide prevention website. “However, there is a higher risk of suicide for those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. In fact, the risk of suicide is increased by more than 50 percent in individuals affected by depression. Studies also show roughly 90 percent of individuals who die by suicide have one or more mental disorders.”

More people survive suicide attempts than actually die, IDPH said, though that’s not quantified.

“They are often seriously injured and need medical care,” the department said.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK.

The Center Square – Greg Bishop

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.