It shows the growing severity of the issue

Spencer Underwood
June 8, 2018

"Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide", the report reads.

Schuchat said that suicide is a national issue, and that no one community is immune. Now this new report from CDC shows the suicide rate across the country is on the rise.

Effective strategies, she said, included teaching coping and problem-solving skills for those at risk, establishing more social "connectedness", as well as safe storage of pills and guns. "This study found that approximately half of suicide decedents in NVDRS did not have a known mental health condition, indicating that additional focus on non-mental health factors further upstream could provide important information for a public health approach".

The state is rural, and studies show a connection between suicide and living in rural areas.

Though suicide remains more common among men, rates of suicide by women, like Spade, rose at more than double the rate of increase seen in men. The rates declined slightly among Black men and people older than 75 during that time. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the rate was 22 per 100,000, among the highest in modern history. The most recent rates, for the years 2014 to 2016, ranged from a low of 6.9 per 100,000 residents per year in Washington, D.C., to a high of 29.2 per 100,000 residents in Montana.

The past three decades have presented a morbid puzzle.

Suicide by stateThe study also broke down the data by state and found suicide rates varied widely. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and DE saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.


Suicide requires both motivation and means. Crisis hotlines can save lives; so can psychiatric treatment. That indicates a large portion weren't diagnosed, "which suggests to me that they're not getting the help they need", he said.

In addition to the skyrocketing number of suicides in middle-aged adults, deaths by suicide are also on the rise in teens, with suicide now the second leading cause of death for all United States teens and young adults from ages 10 to 35. "When you're suicidal, you're not thinking about anybody else, and it's not because your selfish, it's because you're not well".

Public policy changes may also help.

Both states easily exceeded the nation as a whole, with the overall US suicide rate rising 25.4 percent. Historically, the suicide rate tracks with recessions, rising when times are bad and falling when they're better. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by people without a known mental illness.

In 2015, most of the people who died by their own hands had alcohol or some sort drug in their blood, including tranquilizers like Valium or Xanax, and opioids.

"The reason most suicide decedents don't have a known mental disorder is that they were never diagnosed, not that they didn't have one", said Dr. David Brent, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburg. 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. If you require emergency assistance please go to the nearest hospital or call 911.

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