A groundbreaking new government study reveals more than eight million American adults seriously considered suicide in 2008 – a number much larger than the roughly 33,000 Americans who die by their own hand every year.
Among the findings: 2.3 million adults made a suicide plan and 1.1 million adults actually attempted suicide last year.
In July alone, the nationwide Lifeline network of 140 local call centers answered 57,000 calls -- more than it's ever received in one single month. Roughly a quarter of those calls were directly related to economic distress, including unemployment, home foreclosure and personal debt, according to Lifeline spokeswoman Lidia Bernik.
* In 2008, an estimated 8.3 million adults aged 18 or older (3.7 percent of the adult population) had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, 2.3 million (1.0 percent) made a suicide plan, and 1.1 million (0.5 percent) attempted suicide
* Young adults aged 18 to 25 were more likely than adults aged 26 to 49 and those aged 50 or older to have had serious thoughts of suicide (6.7 vs. 3.9 and 2.3 percent, respectively), to have made any plans for suicide (1.9 vs. 1.1 and 0.7 percent), and to have attempted suicide (1.2 vs. 0.4 and 0.3 percent)
* Of the adults who attempted suicide in the past year, 62.3 percent received medical attention for their suicide attempts, and 46.0 percent stayed overnight or longer in a hospital for their suicide attempts