Year: 2021 Source: Harrisburg, PA: Center for Rural Pennsylvania. (2021). 58 p. SIEC No: 20210481

Key Findings:
• Suicide rates in Pennsylvania increased substantially from 1999 to 2018.
• In 2018, the suicide rate in rural counties was 25 percent higher than the rate in urban counties.
• Among rural and urban counties, there is substantial variation in suicide rates.
• Higher numbers of handgun sales per 1,000 residents, lower levels of education, lower incomes, larger populations over age 65, and higher levels of unemployment correlate with higher county suicide rates.
• Counties and school districts have highly diverse suicide prevention programs.
• Rural counties and school districts tend to be more dependent on outside support for their suicide prevention programs.
• Urban counties and school districts tend to offer more targeted suicide prevention programming.
• Few counties and school districts formally evaluate their suicide prevention programs for effectiveness.
• Suicide prevention programs across all counties and school districts were substantially
impacted by COVID-19, but urban programs appeared more resilient.