Depression and Suicidal Ideation

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. overall and the numbers are growing. Over 50% of those who die by suicide suffer from major depression. Relative to other professions, nurses are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Specifically, CRNAs and SRNAs report high levels of stress and depression, which can be a risk factor for suicide.

To reduce the stigma surrounding suicide, we can begin by acknowledging its occurrence and discussing preventative measures. By starting conversations with those we feel are struggling, we can lend our support and save lives.

Sources: AFSPNursingCenter

This Just In ....

Healthcare Practitioners are 8.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Find out more by reading the report, Suicide Rates by Industry and Occupation, 2016.

Female nurses are more likely to die by suicide than male nurses. It was found that when nurses receive mental health screenings anonymously, they are open about substance use issues and accept referrals for treatment. Find out more by reading the national study, A Longitudinal Analysis of Nurse Suicide in the United States (2005–2016) With Recommendations for Action and an overview article.

About Suicide and Healthcare Statistics

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline800-273-8255

Identify Warning SignsAFSP Suicide Warning Signs

Warning signs of suicide may present as verbal, behavioral, or a change in mood or affect. 

Verbal Signs: Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves, feeling hopeless or having no reason to live, being a burden to others.

Behavioral Signs: Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun, increasing drug and alcohol use, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal and isolation, aggression.

Mood/Affect Signs: Extreme mood swings, depression, loss of interest, anxiety, agitation, anger.

Other Resources on Risk Factors:

Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


AFSP ResourcesYou can be a lifesaver! Help prevent suicide by:

  • Visiting your primary healthcare or mental health professional,
  • Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255),
  • Texting TALK to 741741 and chatting with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 from the Crisis Text Line for free.

Organizations should be encouraged to offer a screening program, such as the Healer Education, Assessment and Referral (HEAR) program at UCSD Health. Read the 2018 original study and the updated 2020 version, which reported the 3-year sustainability and outcome of the suicide prevention program.

Other Resources on Prevention:

Sources: HealthLeaders

*CE Note: Although the QPR training does not automatically earn CE, you may consider claiming for Class B Credits. See Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program Explained.

After a Suicide

No matter the circumstance, this is a challenging and painful time. Allow yourself to grieve. Replace old terms such as “committed suicide” to “completed suicide,” “died by/from suicide,” or “ended/took their life.”Healthy Healing

  • Find local support groups,
  • Do what feels right to you,
  • Write your feelings or a letter to your lost loved one/colleague,
  • Ask for help.

Other Resources as a Suicide Loss Survivor: 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Source: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education