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Suicide Prevention

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Suicides among young people continue to be a serious problem. 

Suicide Statistics

Graphics used with permission from Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

The suicide rate in Ohio increased by 24 percent from 2008 to 2017, according to a new study analyzing vital statistics. Rates also increased 80% among children 14 and younger, according to the report by the 28-organization public-private Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health (Akron Beacon Journal, May 2019). Forty-nine youth ages 21 and under died by suicide from 2012-2018 in Summit County.

If you are in crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741. 

Akron Children’s offers a Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a triage and referral service that links families to behavioral health services in Summit County and beyond. It is staffed by licensed social workers and professional clinical counselors who are trained to assess a child’s mental, emotional and behavioral healthcare needs. To contact PIRC, call 330-543-7472.

This work is funded either in whole or in part by a grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Health as a sub-award of a grant issued by Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant under the Injury Prevention Program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, grant award number 1 NB01OT009414-01-00.

Related Resources

store it safe graphic

One important way to reduce the risk of death by suicide is to prevent youth and teens in suicidal crisis from obtaining and using lethal methods of self-harm. A necessary first step is for families of youth to safely store medications, alcohol and firearms. Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. 

Store It Safe, a campaign of the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, brings together a unique partnership of healthcare providers, firearm safety experts, and community organizations to keep children safe from unintentional gun deaths and teens safe from suicide by firearms. Young children are curious and will touch anything, while teens are still learning to control impulses. The presence of unlocked guns in homes increases the risk of both unintentional gun injuries and intentional shootings.

Reduce access to lethal means to keep kids safe

  • Reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies
  • Nationally, 1 out of 3 homes with kids has a gun; 43% contain at least 1 unlocked firearm
  • The presence of a firearm at home increases the risk of suicide even among those without a previous psychiatric diagnosis
  • Accidental shootings by toddlers (3 years or younger) occur on a weekly basis
  • Half of all unintentional shooting deaths among children occur at home, and almost half occur in the home of a friend or relative
  • The number of children shot and killed by guns has an upward trend in the past 6 years, in Ohio
  • Store medications and alcohol in a locked cabinet

Do a SAFETY CHECK of your house

  • Check your house for unlocked guns and ammunition. It is safest to not store firearms in a home with children and/or teens, but if guns are kept in the home, be sure they are always unloaded and locked up, and children/teens don't have access to the keys or combination. A secure gun safe is best.
    • A gun case is less secure
    • Lock bullets up separately
  • Remove or lock up sharp objects such as knives and razors; prescription and over-the-counter medications (including vitamins and aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen).
  • Remove or lock up alcohol, illegal drugs and related paraphernalia.
  • Monitor the use of social media and electronic devices e.g. phone, computer, tablet, gaming devices, texting.

Akron Children’s offers a Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a triage and referral service that links families to behavioral health services in Summit County and beyond. It is staffed by licensed social workers and professional clinical counselors who are trained to assess a child’s mental, emotional and behavioral healthcare needs. To contact PIRC, call 330-543-7472.

If you are in crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741. 

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Ohioans ages 10-14 and the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. 

Common symptoms of depression in children and adolescents include:

  • Feeling or appearing depressed, sad, tearful, or irritable
  • Not enjoying things as much as they used to
  • Spending less time with friends or in after school activities
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Feeling tired or having less energy
  • Feeling like everything is their fault or they are not good at anything
  • Having more trouble concentrating
  • Caring less about school or not doing as well in school

Akron Children’s offers a Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a triage and referral service that links families to behavioral health services in Summit County and beyond. It is staffed by licensed social workers and professional clinical counselors who are trained to assess a child’s mental, emotional and behavioral healthcare needs. To contact PIRC, call 330-543-7472.

If you are in crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741. 

Akron Children’s offers a Psychiatric Intake Response Center (PIRC) 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s a triage and referral service that links families to behavioral health services in Summit County and beyond. It is staffed by licensed social workers and professional clinical counselors who are trained to assess a child’s mental, emotional and behavioral healthcare needs. To contact PIRC, call 330-543-7472.

If you are in crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Crisis Text Line by texting 4HOPE to 741741. 



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