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CDC: Suicide Rates Rising Across US

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. These deaths shine light on rising suicide rates across the US, which are up in nearly every state.

Guns were the most common method used for suicide, accounting for nearly half of the people who died.

"These findings are disturbing".

More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

During the entire study period, rates of suicide increased in almost every state.

CDC researchers examined state-level suicide rate trends between 1999 and 2016 in the "Vital Signs" report released Thursday afternoon, and also analyzed 2015 data covering 27 states from the CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System to study the circumstances of suicide among people with and without known mental health conditions. While this was obviously a large increase, there were 23 other states that reported bigger jumps in that same timeframe.

In Idaho, suicide rates rose by 43 percent.

Suicide rates varied from 6.9 per 100,000 residents a year in the District of Columbia to 29.2 per 100,000 in Montana.

The study also comes a day after Netflix announced plans for a third season of its hit series "13 Reasons Why", which focuses on a high schooler's suicide. Particularly hard-hit were middle-aged adults (those aged 45 to 64).

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Dr. Stone noted that historically some western states have the highest rates of suicide, which could be related to the fact that they tend to be more rural.

"Even though there are deaths by suicide and they are on the rise, what helps the most is telling stories of resiliency".

The high proportion of older people who are white and low rates of religiosity in New Hampshire may also play a role, she said. But suicide is such an unpredictable, often impulsive act that no single intervention has proved sufficient. The report says that substance abuse, financial stress, and relationship problems or loss all contribute to suicide risk.

Looking for a way to kill oneself.

Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, a burden to others or wanting to die.

Increased use of alcohol or drugs.

Acting anxious, agitated or reckless.

The CDC said "everyone can help prevent suicide" by learning the warning signs, reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, and by contacting the national suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-273-TALK for help.

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