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Suicide Rates Have Increased By Up To 30 Percent In The US Since 1999: CDC

Jun 08, 2018 08:47 PM EDT
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Suicide rates in the United States have surged by 30 percent in nearly all states since 1999, indicating how it has become a major problem in the country.

The number of suicide incidents rose across different genders, ages, and races, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data reportedly came from law enforcement, coroner, and medical examiner reports.

Suicide Rates Increase

The recently released CDC findings reveal that suicide rates increased by over 30 percent in more than half of the states. The United States has a total 25 percent increase, CNN reports.

However, there was an increase found in all but one state: Nevada. Since 1999, the suicide rates in Nevada have actually dropped by 1 percent.

In 2016, the final year of the study, nearly 45,000 people died of suicide.

"The most common method was firearm, followed by hanging or suffocation, followed by poisoning," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, reveals. "Opioids were present in 31% of individuals who died by poisoning."

Mental Health Conditions

Perhaps more worryingly, a total of 54 percent of people who died by suicide have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Majority of those who died without known mental health conditions are male (84 percent) and by firearm (51 percent). The same is true for those with mental health conditions, but at a much lower percentage of 69 percent and 41 percent respectively.

Reasons For Suicide

With or without mental health conditions, people who commit suicide do so for a variety of reasons. Nearly half (42 percent) turn to suicide at least partly due to relationship problems.

Other factors include the crisis in the past or upcoming two weeks (29 percent), use of a substance (28 percent), physical health problems (22 percent), work or financial problems (16 percent), a criminal legal problem (9 percent), and loss of housing (4 percent).

"These findings are disturbing," Schuchat says. "Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it's one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem - and something that is all around us."

How To Help

The CDC provides a number of ways to help people in danger of committing suicide. From states and healthcare systems to employers and communities, there are several suggestions to support at-risk individuals.

There are things that everyone can do, though, including providing an ear for them, keeping them safe, taking away access to lethal equipment, and connecting them to support organizations such as Lifeline.

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