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Suicide Rate Rising in Nearly All US States

Suicide Rate Rising in Nearly All US States
Suicide rates rose in nearly every state between 1999 and 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Srdjan Randjelovic/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 07 June 2018 05:02 PM

Suicide rates are rising in all but one state in the U.S., with nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older dying by suicide in 2016, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest statistics, which examined suicide rates from 1999 to 2016, place suicide at No. 10 among leading causes of death in the U.S. and one of only three that are rising, the CDC said in a news release.

Factors contributing to the risk of death by suicide include relationship problems, substance abuse, physical health problems and financial distress, and firearms were the most common method of suicide, the CDC said. More than half of those who died by suicide didn't have a known mental health condition.

Suicide rates were highest in Montana, which saw 29.2 suicides per 100,000 residents between 2014 and 2016 and lowest in Washington, D.C., where 6.9 suicides were recorded per 100,000 residents.

Suicide rates increased by more than 30 percent in 25 states, with North Dakota seeing the highest spike at 57 percent. Only one state — Nevada — reported a decline, The Washington Post noted, adding that state's suicide rate remains higher than the national average.

"At what point is it a crisis?" asked Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association, according to the Post. "Suicide is a public health crisis when you look at the numbers, and they keep going up. It’s up everywhere. And we know that the rates are actually higher than what’s reported. But homicides still get more attention."

Researchers point to the Great Recession and the rise in opioid addiction as possible factors. While men historically have had greater death rates by suicide, women are catching up, Kaslow said.

"I think this gets back to what do we need to be teaching people — how to manage breakups, job stresses," said Christine Moutier, medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, according to the Post. "What are we doing as a nation to help people to manage these things? Because anybody can experience those stresses. Anybody."

The topic of suicide drew attention this week when fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment from what was ruled suicide by hanging.

In March, Congress considered a shorter three-digit suicide hotline, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch to make it easier for people in crisis to get help.

Last year, Facebook announced artificial intelligence tools to help identify posts that raise concerns about the potential for suicide and alert Facebook staff to determine whether intervention is needed.

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Suicide rates have risen sharply in almost every U.S. state since 1999, making suicide the nation's No. 10 cause of death, killing more than 45,000 Americans age 10 and older in 2016, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
suicide, rate, rising, us
Thursday, 07 June 2018 05:02 PM
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