Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

The 'trend' that is troubling the US

The 'trend' that is troubling the US

Almost 45,000 people committed suicide in 2016, making it one of three leading causes of death on the rise in the United States, along with Alzheimer's disease and drug overdoses.

"Our data show that the problem is getting worse", Schuchat said.

In the most recent period studied (2014 to 2016), the rate was highest in Montana, at 29.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 13.4 per 100,000.

Many people who died by suicide, according to the report, had recently experienced hard life events such as relationship problems, physical ailments, financial stress and job or home loss.

The CDC said suicides were rarely caused by any single issue.

There were about 10 suicides per 100,000 people ages 10 and older in Maryland from 1999-2016, the CDC reported. Many factors often contribute to suicide including relationship problems or loss, substance abuse, physical health problems and job, money, legal or housing stress.

Employers and churches are most likely to notice changes in behavior that can be a sign that's something wrong, experts say. It is the fourth most common cause of death among the 35-54 age group.

"We can't rationalize an irrational mind", she said.

Genevieve Weber, Hofstra University associate professor of counseling and mental health, agreed that a direct approach is best. "A lot of representatives and senators on [Capitol Hill] are losing their constituents", she said. The rates have gone up more than 30% in half of all states since 1999, she says. While the study did not look at the potential reasons why that might be, Schuchat offered a possible explanation.

Middle-age adults had the highest increase. In the one-year analysis of 27 states, opioids were found in 31 percent of the 3,003 suicides involving drug overdoses. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress. Georgia's increase was 16.2 percent. Only one state, Nevada, had a decrease in its rate (1 percent).

Sikora, who lost her sister to suicide in 2001, is the western Pennsylvania director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

"Due to higher poverty rates, higher likelihood of hourly pay and productivity-based labor, and lack of transportation infrastructure, mental health services are often not accessible even if they are available in a rural community - that is, even though it is there, many people either can not get to it or can not afford (either directly or indirectly) to go", he said.

If you believe a loved one is considering suicide, do not leave him or her alone and try to get the person to seek help from a doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department or dial 911. "You never get used to it", Williams said.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, self-harm, or is anxious, depressed, upset or needs to talk, call the 27/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the crisis text line at 741-741.

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