Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

It shows the growing severity of the issue


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that suicide rates went up significantly in 44 states, and in 25 of them, including MA, the increases exceeded 30 percent. Overall, there were about 1.5 percent more suicides in 2016 than in 2015.

More than half of suicides in 2015 in a subgroup of 27 states were among people with no known mental health condition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Suicide is rarely caused by any single factor, health officials said, but information from coroners' reports suggest numerous deaths followed relationship problems, substance use and financial crises.

Guns are still the most common means of suicide, accounting for about half of all suicide deaths in the US.

Every day, 123 Americans commit suicide.

In a year, millions more consider, plan and attempt to kill themselves.

Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the USA, and is one of three leading causes that are on the rise, the CDC said.

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. Other contributing factors to suicide can include substance use, financial issues and physical health.

"When you do a psychological autopsy and go and look carefully at medical records and talk to family members of the victims", he said, "90 percent will have evidence of a mental health condition".

Family and friends remember one Kate Spade, but the light that shined through for the cameras came with a darker side behind closed doors that many did not know or understand.

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'Conditions like postpartum depression and menopause [may put some women at a higher risk], and, for women in general, stereotypes of being the ideal mom and employee, the stigma associated with a need to "balance" all of that can cause pressure as well, ' said Dr Ali.

'This kind of "perfectionism" not only affects women, but, in light of Spade's suicide, it is something we can highlight, ' she added'.

Of those who took their own lives, fewer than half had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, the report says. Those without a known mental health condition, according to the report, were more likely to be male and belong to a racial or ethnic minority.

But Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said that statistic must be viewed in context.

Whether or not Spade had a problematic relationship with alcohol at the time of her death, substance abuse was common among 28 percent of those who died by suicide in 2016, according to the CDC's report.

The findings were published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Accomplishing this, according to the CDC, has to be accomplished by work in a number of avenues.

"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to 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.

Vermont also has a high rate of binge drinking, and evidence suggests that people who drink too much are at higher risk of suicide.

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