BBC • The Global Story • US suicides: Why are so many young people dying?

A record number of Americans are taking their own lives, and suicide is now the second-leading cause of death in the US for people under the age of 35. Why is this happening? How can you get help if you need it? And how is the US responding to what President Biden calls a ‘crisis’ in youth mental health?

Mark Lowen speaks to BBC North America correspondent Will Vernon. He’s been to North Carolina State University, which has seen a string of student suicides over the past two years. They are joined by Jordan Burnham, a suicide survivor and youth mental health advocate in the US.

WARNING: This episode deals with issues of suicide and depression. If you are experiencing distress, despair or suicidal thoughts, contact a local mental health care provider.

If you live in the US or Canada, you can call or text 9-8-8 to be connected to a support line.

You can learn about the resources available in the UK at

Or you can access help anywhere in the world through Befrienders Worldwide at

The Global Story brings you trusted insights from BBC journalists worldwide. We’re keen to hear from you, wherever you are in the world. We want your ideas, stories and experiences to help us understand and tell The Global Story. Email us at You can also message us or leave a voice note via WhatsApp on +44 330 123 9480. #TheGlobalStory.

The Global Story is part of the BBC News Podcasts family. The team that makes The Global Story also makes several other podcasts, such as Americast and Ukrainecast, which cover US news and the war in Ukraine. If you enjoy The Global Story, then we think that you will enjoy some of our other podcasts too. To find them, simply search on your favourite podcast app. This episode was made by Peter Goffin and Beth Timmins. The technical producers was Gareth Jones and Matt Hewitt. The assistant editor is Sergi Forcada Freixas and the senior news editor is Sam Bonham.