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CDC Alarmed at Increases in State Suicide Rates


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Vital Signs report, suicide rates have almost universally risen across the nation. Of the ten leading causes of Americans’ deaths, suicide is among only three on the increase (CDC, 2018).

Examining trends from 1999 to 2016, the CDC noted that the annual rate increases ranged from slightly under 6 percent in Delaware to over 57 percent in North Dakota (CDC, 2018). Only Nevada exhibited a modest decrease, of roughly 1 percent per year, in its suicide rate within this period (CDC, 2018).

Using 2015 data from the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, researchers discovered that less than half of that year’s suicide victims were diagnosed with one or more mental health conditions (CDC, 2018). Noted as risk factors for suicide were relationship troubles, substance abuse, physical health issues, and stress pertaining to employment, money, and legal or housing issues (CDC, 2018). The most frequently recorded method of suicide involved the use of a firearm (CDC, 2018).

The CDC emphasized the importance of learning the warning signs for suicide and reducing suicidal individuals’ access to lethal objects (CDC, 2018). It stressed the availability of assistance, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, offered to those who may be considering suicide (CDC, 2018). The hotline may be reached twenty-four hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255; National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 2018).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Suicide rates rising across the US. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0607-suicide-prevention.html
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (n.d.). National suicide prevention hotline. Retrieved from https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/