Commissioner’s Statement on 2017 Suicide Data

MDH Statement
December 17, 2018

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Commissioner’s Statement on 2017 Suicide Data

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm issued the following statement today regarding the release of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that Minnesota saw a significant increase in the number of suicides in 2017.

Minnesota faces a growing public health challenge related to suicide. There are resources available to help those facing a crisis, but these new data show we all need to do more to help.
In 2017, 783 Minnesotans died by suicide. This was an increase of 5 percent compared to 2016. Minnesota is not alone in seeing this increase; these trends are happening in other states across the country. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in Minnesota and 10th nationally.

While we have made some progress in suicide prevention, as the state saw a 10 percent decrease in suicides among women, there was also a 9 percent increase among male Minnesotans, particularly in the seven-county metro.

While it is natural to focus on the overall numbers, we want to emphasize that suicides are preventable and depression and other mental illnesses that often contribute to suicidal behavior are treatable. Suicide is not inevitable. Most people find the hope and help they need to make their way to a brighter future. That is why we must continue to invest in suicide prevention efforts such as access to crisis services, limiting access to lethal means, and creating supportive communities.

If you or a loved one are facing a mental health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-TALK (8255) or text MN to 741741.

A Minnesota specific data brief is available at data is available at the MDH suicide in Minnesota reports page.


Media inquiries:

Scott Smith
MDH Communications