September 24, 2018

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

08 June 2018, 08:23 | Silvia Roy

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

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

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US and rates have been climbing steadily for years.

The report also states suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of the states since 1999.

NY saw a roughly 30 percent jump since 1999, mirroring the nationwide rate for the same period, according to the agency, which examined state-level trends in suicide rates from that year through 2016.

Prevention efforts, often focused on mental health, could be broadened to focus on people undergoing life stresses like job losses or divorces, the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a media briefing. With almost 45,000 suicides across the country in 2016, the report described suicide as a "growing public health problem" and said a variety of factors may contribute to the increase.

Perhaps even more startling, in more than half of those suicide deaths, the people had no known mental health condition.

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The recent deaths of high-profile personalities Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are shining a light on the issue of suicide, and new figures show the suicide rate in Minnesota has jumped in recent years.

Suicide rates varied from 6.9 per 100,000 residents a year in the District of Columbia to 29.2 per 100,000 in Montana. California had an increase of 14.8 percent - the fifth-smallest, after Delaware, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina.

And the controversial Netflix series "13 Reasons Why", which follows a high school girl who takes her own life after being bullied and sexually assaulted, has sparked discussion about the alarming rates of teen suicide, in particular, which has also seen a frightening increase.

This is part of its larger call on entire communities - beginning at the family level and expanding all the way up to society as a whole - to come together to watch out for suicidal behavior and make help more accessible. Historically, the suicide rate tracks with recessions, rising when times are bad and falling when they're better.

In its report, the USA government agency reports that in reported suicides that 54 percent of people who died by suicide did not have a known or reported mental health illness. The others include Alzheimer's disease and drug overdoses.

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"The shocking statistic is to see Oklahoma's rate has changed so significantly", said Julie Summers, Mental Health Association Oklahoma's director of outreach and prevention. If you're anxious about someone, she recommends taking action by "engaging in a conversation that goes a little bit deeper and letting them know that you're there, that you can listen to what they need you to listen to". The most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is an issue not only for the mentally ill but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle problems. Those with known mental health conditions were mostly men, but they were less likely to use firearms. Ask them if they are thinking about suicide 2.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.

Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal means for those at risk. Telling someone you care and want to help is always a good idea, and so is letting them do most of the talking about how they're feeling, without judging, shaming, or threatening.

Note: If you or you're concerned a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

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