Monday, 20 August, 2018

It shows the growing severity of the issue

US suicide rates increased more than 25% since 1999, CDC says CDC: Suicide rates on the rise in almost every state | TheHill
Francis Osborne | 08 June, 2018, 17:46

In the one-year analysis of 27 states, opioids were found in 31 percent of the 3,003 suicides involving drug overdoses. Suicide rates rose in 49 states between 1999 and 2016 across all age groups, ethnicities, gender and race.

Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide didn't have a known diagnosed mental health condition, despite previous studies showing 90% of individuals who died by suicide did. But other problems - such as the loss of a relationship, financial setbacks, substance abuse and eviction - were common precursors, both among those who had a mental health diagnosis and those who did not.

To the knowledge of her family and investigators, Spade did not have a previously diagnosed mental health condition, though her sister Reta Saffro has said she suspected that Spade had begun drinking heavily as a way to cope. Finding economic circumstances was a major contributing factor, especially during the Great Recession (2008).

"Our data suggests that suicide is more than a mental health issue", Schuchat said.

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

A graphic released by the Centers for Disease Control in June 2018 shows rising suicide rates across the US between 1999 and 2016.

Suicide rates have waxed and waned over the country's history and tend to reach highs in hard times. While the study did not look at the potential reasons why that might be, Schuchat offered a possible explanation. The designer's husband, Andy Spade, has said she suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.

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Firearms were the most commonly reported method of suicides (48.5%), though decedents with known mental health conditions were less likely to die by firearm (40.6%) and more likely to use strangulation (31.3%) or poisoning (19.8%) than those without (26.9% and 10.4%, respectively).

In New Orleans, researchers led by Orleans Parish Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse also recently studied the high rates of suicide in the city even a decade after Hurricane Katrina.

Overall, the rate rose to 15.4 per 100,000 in 2014-2016 from 12.3 per 100,000 in 1999-2001. Nevada was the only state to see a decrease.

Recommendations include comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, which requires coordination from every sector of society from the government to community organizations.

"Middle-aged adults had the largest number of suicides, and a particularly high increase in rates", CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat told reporters on a conference call Thursday, calling the new data "disturbing".

The Minnesota Health Department has increased efforts to identify at-risk communities to help reduce suicides. CDC also found that access to medications and weapons influenced the upward trend in suicides.

Everyone can help by learning the warning signs for suicide and how to respond. They were also more likely to commit a homicide followed by suicide (aOR = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.2-3.8) than the latter group. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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