June 18, 2018

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Suicide rates up across US and Utah, but mental health may not play primary role

CDC: Suicide rates on the rise in almost every state | TheHill

Suicide rates have increased across the board in the United States since 1999, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although suicide is often attributed exclusively to mental health conditions, it is rarely caused by a single factor, the researchers said.

The CDC reports that about 45,000 people committed suicide in 2016 and that overall, rates were up more than 30 percent in at least 25 states when compared to 1999's figures.

The CDC says suicide is the country's 10th leading cause of death.

"Dying by suicide isn't a normal response to life's adversities", said Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE).

The rates of suicide for all states and the District of Columbia were calculated using data from the National Vital Statistics System. "We can see suicide rates improve slower than the economy". Only Nevada did not record a rise.

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Gunshot was easily the most common method of committing suicide, especially among those without any documented mental health issues, who used firearms more than half the time. The costs in terms of medical care and lost work hours associated with suicide and attempted suicide - which was listed as "self-harm" for statistical purposes - amounted to $70bn annually.

The new report also found that, among USA states and the District of Columbia, suicide rates varied fourfold in 2014-2016, from about 7 per 100,000 residents per year in Washington, D.C., to 29 per 100,000 residents per year in Montana. "Suicide doesn't discriminate", Lyn Morris, LMFT, Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.

Last year, the CDC released a package on suicide prevention that includes strategies based on the best available evidence. "You can only point people toward help and hope that those that are out there in need will pick up the phone and call someone".

Suicide prevention strategiesThe report calls on state and local communities, health care providers, and individuals to take steps to prevent suicide. CDC also found that access to medications and weapons influenced the upward trend in suicides. Bourdain's death was also confirmed to be a suicide after his friend and fellow celebrity chef Eric Ripert found him unresponsive in his hotel room in France. "For those who don't understand depression, when someone is in that place it's not because they want to die... it's because the ongoing, relentless darkness is too painful to endure anymore", Munn wrote. That rate is 32% for the state of Indiana. Many factors often contribute to suicide including relationship problems or loss, substance abuse, physical health problems and job, money, legal or housing stress. KDADS also offers training regarding suicide prevention. That indicates a large portion weren't diagnosed, "which suggests to me that they're not getting the help they need", he said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support, please reach out for help by calling or texting the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357.

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