Montana Prevents Suicide

Montana has led the nation in deaths by suicide for more than 40 years, making it one of Montana's most significant public health priorities. Montana, like many other states, has seen a continual increase in death by suicide from individuals of all ages and demographics. To date, suicide is currently the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 44 and the eighth leading cause of death for all Montanans. 

To better support tribes, schools, mental health providers, state and local government leaders, and suicide prevention coalitions the Center has reviewed more than 400 articles on suicide and suicide prevention.  From our review, we created a chart (see below) that provides an overview of existing research. We will update this chart as new programs, risk-factors, or other relevant research is made available. The chart includes, but is not limited to: 

  • name and a brief synopsis of intervention,
  • tier of intervention (universal or for the entire population, selective or for individuals with certain characteristics, or intensive for 1-on-1),
  • intervention location (e.g. school, community, medical center),
  • type of intervention (e.g. prevention, awareness, crisis management),
  • and intervention strengths (i.e. positive attributes and feasibility) and challenges (i.e. non-positive research results or potential difficulties for implementation).

For more information read our research brief

Listen to the short clip below on how one construction company has embraced talking about mental health to reduce suicides.

Preventing Farmer Suicide: Collaboration and Communication.  A resource for farm families to improve mental health.


The following chart provides data that further highlights youth suicide rates in Montana.

Young people in MT commit suicide at Twice the rate of young people nationwide. MT's rate of children suicide per 100,000 was 23 in 2013. The US's was 10.5.

The national rate of deaths by suicide for children ages 10 to 17 is 10.5 per 100,000 and Montana youth die at a rate of 23 per 100,000.  Montana youth are twice as likely as youth from other states to die by suicide.  The Crisis Text Line reports, Montana ranks #1 in thoughts of suicide in the nation.  

The Center is conducting a statewide analysis of youth conversations with crisis counselors using data made available to the Center through the national Crisis Text Line to determine the correlation between suicidal ideation (ranked #1 nationally) with anxiety, depression, school & relational problems, substance use, month, day, and time. This real-time data is cross-referenced with Montana's Suicide Mortality Review Team Report Prevention Needs Assessment, and Youth Risk Behavior Survey to identify patterns and encourage data-based decision-making when developing and implementing prevention and intervention services statewide.

The Center's resources provide practical suggestions for professionals and families to help prevent youth suicide.

The following video highlights Montana's youth suicide problem and the high utilization rate of the Crisis Text Line among youth.