CDC: Suicide Rates Continue to Spike Nationally, 30% in a Quarter of the States

NYAPRS Note: New data from the federal Center for Disease Control demonstrates a striking rise in suicide related deaths across the nation, as well as a finding that a significant number of these were not connected to diagnoses of mental health conditions.

CDC: Suicide Rates Continue to Spike in Nearly Every State, Across Age Groups

By Brianna Ehley   Politico  June 7, 2018

Suicide rates surged in nearly every state over a 17-year period ending in 2016, with mental health problems contributing to just over half of those deaths, according to new CDC data.

The CDC's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report studied suicide rates between 1999 and 2016 and found that every state but Nevada reported an increase over that time period. A quarter of states saw a 30 percent spike in suicide deaths.

Researchers found that suicides increased among every age group but were highest among middle-aged people. The most common method of suicide was by firearm, followed by hanging and drug overdoses.

The study found about 54 percent of suicides in data from 27 states revealed that there was no known mental health condition in those that died. That could be because there was no diagnosis or that a mental health issue was not reported by survivors of the deceased. But officials said the findings suggest that suicide prevention should not just be the mental health community's responsibility.

"The data says suicide is more than a mental health issue," said CDC's Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat during a call with reporters.

Schuchat said suicide is one of three leading causes of death in the U.S. that are on the rise, joining Alzheimer's disease and drug overdose.