MDH: Suicide deaths down in Minnesota in 2020
A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health says the number of deaths by suicide declined last year.
Still, 723 Minnesotans died by suicide in 2020. A record 830 Minnesotans died by suicide in 2019.
"It’s a good sign to see that number drop, but 723 preventable deaths are 723 too many," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. "We are not yet sure what impacts the COVID-19 pandemic had on this trend, but it is clear that we must continue to support people and communities to address the causes of suicide."
According to MDH, the number of suicide deaths in Minnesota has increased steadily over the past 20 years, mirroring U.S. trends. Despite the decline in 2020, it was the sixth consecutive year in which over 700 Minnesotans died by suicide.
MDH officials emphasized that suicide deaths are preventable, as treatment and help are available.
"2020 was a year of extraordinary challenges, and the impact to Minnesotans is one we will need to explore on a deeper level," said Stefan Gingerich, a suicide epidemiologist with MDH. "While we are encouraged by the reduction in deaths by suicide this past year, given the high number of suicides each year we must remain vigilant and proactive in our prevention efforts."
One initiative that launched last year, called Kognito At-Risk, walks educators through realistic scenarios and coaches them on how to engage with youth and help them. The program is free and available to all Minnesota schools and districts.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak with a certified listener, anytime, any day, call 1-800-273-8255.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Throughout Minnesota: call **CRISIS (**274747).
- Crisis Text Line: is available for free, 24/7 by texting MN to 741741.
- The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.
- Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline at 833-600-2670.