Suicide Rates in the US Are Fast on the Rise

With two public figuring dying by suicide this week, it may seem like it's happening a lot. And according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, that is actually the case.

Findingspublished in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicate that rates of suicide in the United States have increased nearly 30 percent since 1999. The most common method used for suicide is guns, accounting for almost half of all deaths by suicide.

More: Yes, People Who Are Depressed or Suicidal Can Look Like They "Have It All"

"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It's not just a mental health concern," Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and the lead author of the new study, told NPR. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide. And so that's one of the things that this study really shows us. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention."
With nearly 45,000 suicides in 2016 alone, it represents a major public health concern. In fact, suicide is the 10th-most common cause of death in the United States and one of only three causes that are increasing, according to the CDC.

More: What People Don't Realize About Suicide Prevention

Ultimately, the goal of the CDC's research in this area is to come up with a comprehensive evidence-based approach to suicide risk and prevention — ideally providing services for people before they get to the point of feeling suicidal — and to create resources for friends and family members of people who have died by suicide.
One important step is knowing the warning signs for suicide. According to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, these include:
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings
For more information on the warning signs and prevention of suicide, click hereIf you're considering suicide or fear you may become suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you're worried about someone you love, visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. If you live outside the U.S., you can find a list of suicide-prevention hotlines worldwide here.

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