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It shows the growing severity of the issue
08 June 2018, 05:46 | Melissa Porter
In its alarming new report on America's fast-rising suicide rate, the Centers for Disease Control cites many pressures that might lead people to take their own lives: problems with relationships or work, substance abuse, money troubles, or housing insecurity.
These red-flag laws "have generated interest in response to high-profile homicides, but in practice far more guns have been seized due to concerns of suicide risk", said Aaron Kivisto, a co-author of the study with Peter Lee Phalen.
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. They were the source of about half of all suicides, the researchers say, and that percentage has stayed stable over the years.
New federal data shows suicide rates are up by 30 percent across the nation.
Adults ages 45 to 64 had the largest increase in the suicide rate, from 13.2 suicides per 100,000 people in 1999 to 19.2 suicides per 100,000 in 2016. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death and one of just three leading causes on the rise.
"Any life stressors that are weighing on someone who has a history of or is now struggling with their mental health - that's a person who you have to be anxious about", said psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf. "Essentially every age group other than those over 75".
From 1999 to 2016, rates increased in almost all states, ranging from a 6-percent increase in DE to a 57-percent increase in North Dakota. The numbers were highest among non-Hispanic whites, and among those ages 45 to 65 years old. It's important to keep in mind to remove access to firearms, medications, or any other potential tools they might use to harm themsevles. The latest data at that time showed about 30,000 suicides a year.
"A big problem that has not yet been addressed in practice is that we continue to rely nearly entirely on people themselves to proactively tell us if they are suicidal", said Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by people without a known mental illness.
"The data supports what we know about that notion", Gordon said. "We call it a care plan, and it's a way for people to stay safe when they feel suicidal urges come out", said Scott Langernecker, Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is an issue not only for the mentally ill but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle problems. Because anybody can experience those stresses. "We can see suicide rates improve slower than the economy".
This report contains information from the Associated Press. "They make sure that they are getting the help that they need".
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