CDC Says U.S. Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically

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For almost 20 years, the suicide rate in the U.S. has gone up across all racial and ethnic groups, for both men and women. Suicides are taking place at a higher rate in both rural and city areas, and across all age groups below 75. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the national suicide rate has increased by nearly 30 percent.

In 2016 alone, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death, accounting for the deaths of nearly 45,000 Americans over the age of 10. While the report does not directly conclude the reason behind this increase in suicides, research does point to several notable trends in the data.

Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and lead author of the study, said that “suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It’s not just a mental health concern.” In order to develop a better understanding of this complex issue, Deborah and her team collected data on suicides from every state, including those of which that occurred as far back as 2015. They found that suicide rates were the highest in the central, northern region of the United States. States like North Dakota have been hit hard by suicide, with rates steadily increasing since 1999. The only state to have seen no increase was Nevada, while Delaware had the smallest increase when compared to every state.

Forty-six percent of people who committed suicide were individuals that were diagnosed with mental conditions. Other factors that led to suicide included relationship problems (42 percent), extreme life crisis (29 percent), substance abuse (28 percent), health issues (22 percent) and a job or financial problem (16 percent).

The CDC says that anyone can learn to notice the warning signs of suicide in order to help those who are at risk. Head over to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to learn more about how you can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can also be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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