ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Health released information about a worrisome trend Thursday, reporting deaths by suicide in Minnesota continue to rise, making it the eighth-leading cause of death across the state.
According to MDH, American Indians and Native Alaskans had the highest rates of death by suicide in 2021 — the highest since 2000. In a recent listening session, the agency said tribal partners explained the impacts of historical trauma as risk factors, specifically the loss of indigenous knowledge and identity, as well as economic hardship.
MDH also noted that Latino and Hispanic Minnesotan communities experienced more deaths by suicide in 2021 than over the previous five years, and that men were four times more likely to die by suicide than women. MDH said the latter finding is likely related to the "lethal and predominant role that guns play" in the deaths of men.
“Suicide is a significant public health issue that involves the tragic loss of human life,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham in a statement. “It is important for us to take a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention that supports connectedness, belonging and protections from lethal means.”
In 2021 and 2022, MDH said the number of preventable deaths by suicide increased, reflecting a slice of what it says is part of a 20-year trend in the state. The agency reported more than 1,600 Minnesotans died by suicide over those last two years.
The state says it's aiding in the fight toward suicide prevention by educating local communities about early intervention, crisis intervention and support after a death by suicide, and building space to empower those communities to implement their prevention plans.
The state also said it wants to put work toward improving both health care and behavioral care and initiatives, relating to suicide and self-harm, in clinics and other facilities across Minnesota.
For more information about MDH's report, click here.
If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, there is help available from the following resources:
- Crisis Text Line – text “MN” to 741741 (standard data and text rates apply)
- Crisis Phone Number in your Minnesota county
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, Talk to Someone Now
- Throughout Minnesota call **CRISIS (**274747)
- The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386
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