Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

It shows the growing severity of the issue


Suicide rates are climbing in almost every state in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which announced the "troubling" trend Thursday.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans - and it's a tragedy for families and communities across the country", Schuchat said in a statement.

"The shocking statistic is to see Oklahoma's rate has changed so significantly", said Julie Summers, Mental Health Association Oklahoma's director of outreach and prevention.

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.

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In a study of these laws in two states, in and CT, researchers at the University of Indianapolis found that the legislation led to reductions in gun-related suicides, compared with the expected numbers: they were 7.5 per cent lower in IN in the decade after enactment, and 13.7 per cent lower in CT in the year since strict enforcement began. By 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans were taking their own lives every year.

As of this week, millionaire handbag mogul Kate Spade became another member of that age group to die by suicide. For half of the states, the increase exceeded 30 percent. There were 44,965 suicide deaths in 2016, according to CDC data. "But these issues were [found] in all, with or without a mental health condition". The state has tried to tackle the problem with a website, https://massmen.org, that targets men in this age group. Suicide by asphyxiation or suffocation was the second most common cause of death during that time period.

In an examination of state-level trends in suicide rates that ranged from 1999-2016, researchers from the CDC reported that rates increased by at least 6% in all states but Nevada, which reported a 1% decrease, in that span of time. Approximately half of such deaths involve the use of a firearm.

The timing of the new data is not lost on the Kim Foundation in Omaha. That indicates a large portion weren't diagnosed, "which suggests to me that they're not getting the help they need", he said. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by people without a known mental illness.

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Programs that allow farmers and other individuals in rural areas to leave their guns in someone else's hands when they go through major life events can also help, Kurz said. "Instead, these folks were suffering from other issues, such as relationship problems, substance misuse, physical health problems, job or financial problems, and recent crises or things that were coming up in their lives that they were anticipating", says Stone.

"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. Because anybody can experience those stresses. "We think that a comprehensive approach to suicide is what's needed".

This report contains information from the Associated Press. 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.

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