Health Care

It shows the growing severity of the issue

It shows the growing severity of the issue

The report also looked at people who died by suicide in 27 states, and found that more than half (54%) did not have a known mental health condition, highlighting the complicated nature of suicide.

Other contributing factors to suicide - besides substance abuse and mental health disorders - detailed in the CDC's latest report included recent or impending crises, physical health problems, financial stress, losing housing and criminal or legal problems.

Suicide decedents without known mental health conditions were more likely to be male and non-Hispanic white than those with known mental health conditions.

"Suicidologists regularly state that suicide is not caused by a single factor; however, suicide prevention is often oriented toward mental health conditions alone with regard to downstream identification of suicidal persons, treatment of mental health conditions, and prevention of reattempts", researchers wrote.

Though more than half of people who died of suicide had no diagnosis, only 16 percent of those were women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out an alarming report Thursday on suicide. 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.

Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one.

High suicide numbers in the United States are not a new phenomenon.

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In the one-year analysis of 27 states, opioids were found in 31 percent of the 3,003 suicides involving drug overdoses. The rates declined slightly among Black men and people older than 75 during that time.

A 2012 CDC study of 17 states found that workers in farming, fishing and forestry had the highest rate of suicide - about 84.5 per 100,000 people. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the rate was 22 per 100,000, among the highest in modern history. The U.S. average rate went up to 15.4 from 12.3 in the same periods.

The past three decades have presented a morbid puzzle. With considerations to gender, significant suicide rate increases were observed among males and females in 34 and 43 states, respectively.

The reasons are many, experts said. Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, and Oklahoma each reported increases from 38-58%. Among middle-aged people across the country, marriage rates have declined, and social isolation has increased.

To be fair, the CDC does issue a mild recommendation regarding guns in its press release announcing the study: "Reduce access to lethal means - such as medications and firearms - among people at risk of suicide". That indicates a large portion weren't diagnosed, "which suggests to me that they're not getting the help they need", he said. Almost 45,000 Americans took their lives in 2016, more than those who died in auto accidents or opioid overdoses.

Researchers have only recently begun to understand the elements of suicidal thinking that actually predict an attempt.

For example, if you are anxious someone is feeling suicidal, don't be afraid to ask the question and "open the conversation", Summers said.

Public policy changes may also help. Overall, there were about 1.5 percent more suicides in 2016 than in 2015. Historically, the suicide rate tracks with recessions, rising when times are bad and falling when they're better. "Our findings show that these laws are associated with reduced gun suicide rates".