CDC report reveals more than 45,000 Americans took their own lives in 2016

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 8, 2018

Often, the suicide seemed to happen without warning: 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn't have a previously known mental health issue. And suicidal ideation can arise from a plethora of quotidian experiences that aren't commonly documented or recognized as actionable mental health issues: financial distress, relationship crises, substance abuse, and so on.

Suicide rates in America have spiked by more than 30 percent in half of its states since 1999, according to new official figures. Firearms were revealed to be the most common method of suicide by those with and without a known mental illness.

"What's also known about neighbor islands is the difficulty in accessing mental health care, as well as other types of medical care".

Suicide is preventable, and it's rarely caused by a single factor. In a country that has as many privately owned guns as it does people, this presents a unique public health problem. The numbers were highest among non-Hispanic whites, and among those ages 45 to 65 years old.

The CDC said the nation's suicide rate is growing among many age groups.

Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Vermont and New Hampshire all saw suicide rate increases between 43 and almost 58 percent. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the rate was 22 per 100,000, among the highest in modern history.

The data also laid bare a 42 percent growth in emergency hospital visits for self-harm, which were the main risk factor for suicides between 2001 and 2016.

The past three decades have presented a morbid puzzle.

While it may be true that suicide rates are increasing across the board, research consistently points to a strong association between firearm access and suicide deaths, independent of other factors.

The reasons are many, experts said. But in some states, the increases are staggering. Among middle-aged people across the country, marriage rates have declined, and social isolation has increased.

"Focusing suicide prevention efforts exclusively in health care settings is insufficient".

Family members or friends concerned about someone who is struggling can ask directly about suicide and remove firearms or any other means the person is considering from the home, said Jennifer Stuber, director of Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Vermont also has a high rate of binge drinking, and evidence suggests that people who drink too much are at higher risk of suicide.

Opioid addiction is another factor that could have led to the increase, although experts say it is hard to differentiate intentional deaths by overdose from accidental deaths.

"Research for many years and across social and health science fields has demonstrated a strong relationship between economic downturns and an increase in deaths due to suicide", Sarah Burgard an associate professor of sociology at the University of MI, explained in an email on Thursday.

These new statistics come just days after the shocking news of handbag designer Kate Spade's alleged sudden suicide.

She recommended families store guns and drugs in safe places to reduce suicides.

"I think it's possible that we have some underrecognition of mental health conditions in our data, both because conditions haven't been formally diagnosed and because those left behind might not have been aware of the diagnosis", Schuchat said.

Brown reminds you don't need to be suicidal yourself to call a prevention hotline.

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