Outcome: Good Mental Health

Indicator: Suicide Ideation

Significance of this indicator:

Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts of suicide or wanting to take one's own life. Suicidal ideation is a call for help and as such suicide prevention efforts should be directed toward youth expressing suicidal ideation.  According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24. Risk factors for suicide include:

  • History of previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life event or loss
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
  • Incarceration

How we are doing on this indicator:

2009-2012
The proportion of middle and high school students in Pueblo City Schools who seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months spiked in the year 2011, but decreased again in year 2012 (middle school students decreased by over half, and high school students by 39 percent.)  In 2011 (the most current data for all of Colorado), the percent of Pueblo City Schools' high school students with suicide ideation was nearly 14 percentage points higher than state figures.

2013 - Please note that the data for Pueblo is now reported for all of Pueblo County, not just Pueblo City Schools.   Pueblo's middle school numbers only include grades 7 and 8, whereas Colorado's middle school numbers inlcude grade 6.

The number of Colorado's high school students who seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months changed by less than a percentage point.  Pueblo County as a whole matched closely to the numbers that Pueblo County Schools had in 2012.

Pueblo County's 2013 middle school percentages are much higher than the percentages in 2012 , but they also represent Pueblo County as a whole and only grades 7 and 8, whereas the numbers from prior years are just for Pueblo City Schools and included grades 6, 7 and 8.
 

What the Data Tell Us

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Definition: Percent of students who seriously considered attempting suicide during the past 12 months.

Data Source: Healthy Kids Colorado Survey: Colorado Department of Education and Pueblo City Schools.

Data Considerations: Colorado administers the survey every two years in the fall. When Colorado began collecting data from middle school students in 2011, the survey did not include this question.