While suicide deaths among young Ohioans have risen overall in Ohio over the past two decades, the increase has been sharpest among Black Ohioans.
In 1999, the suicide rates for both white Ohioans and Black Ohioans ages 10 to 24 were the same: 6.8 per 100,000 people. By 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), the rate for white Ohioans had risen to 11.2 (an increase of 64%) and the rate for Black Ohioans had risen to 12.8 (an increase of 88%).
More-recent national research indicates that the disparity in suicide rates may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reducing suicide and eliminating disparities are priorities of the Ohio Department of Health’s 2020-2022 State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Public- and private-sector leaders can implement strategies identified in the SHIP and Ohio’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan, including suicide fatality review boards, behavioral health integration with primary care and education on safe storage of lethal means (i.e., firearms and medications).
This April, HPIO is spotlighting health disparities in Ohio as part of National Minority Health Month.
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the National Suicide Hotline toll-free at 1-800-273-8255.