Medicine

It shows the growing severity of the issue

It shows the growing severity of the issue

A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that suicide rates are rising in almost every state.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans, and it's a tragedy for families and communities across the country", Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, said in a statement. "Suicide is a public health crisis when you look at the numbers, and they keep going up".

And the increase in suicides in MA has been blamed on the travails of middle-aged men, who account for the largest number of suicide deaths. Overall, there were about 1.5 percent more suicides in 2016 than in 2015.

'If we step back from the statistics, mental health does not discriminate, ' said Dr Shainna Ali, a Florida psychologist.

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.

Vermont is home to a high proportion of white people, and whites as a group have higher suicide rates than ethnic groups.

"We do see increases in suicide associated with economic downturns, and it can take a long time for the recovery to kick in", Schuchat said.

The CDC said suicides were rarely caused by any single issue. "Essentially every age group other than those over 75".




Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and middle-aged adults are especially at risk. Of the 25 states where the suicide rate increase by more than 30 percent, the most noticeable rises occurred in western states. Firearms were revealed to be the most common method of suicide by those with and without a known mental illness.

"We have worked really hard to explain to the public that suicide is not simply a matter of too much stress, but that it involves the identification and treatment of mental disorders as one important component", he said.

A number of states have adopted so-called red flag laws that allow courts and the police to temporarily remove guns from individuals who may be a threat to themselves.

The timing of the new data is not lost on the Kim Foundation in Omaha.

"A big problem that has not yet been addressed in practice is that we continue to rely nearly entirely on people themselves to proactively tell us if they are suicidal", said Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University. And for those who did, "circumstances such as relationship problems, job/financial or physical health problems. contributed to their suicide", the report said.

Effective strategies, she said, included teaching coping and problem-solving skills to those at risk, establishing more social "connectedness", and safe storage of pills and guns. Because anybody can experience those stresses. "We know that same approach can work with suicide".

'Conditions like postpartum depression and menopause [may put some women at a higher risk], and, for women in general, stereotypes of being the ideal mom and employee, the stigma associated with a need to "balance" all of that can cause pressure as well, ' said Dr Ali.

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.


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