Suicide rates in the United States have increased nearly 30 percent since 1999, according to data released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates increased significantly across most states, rising in all but one state during that time period.
According to the CDC, the suicide rate increased significantly in 44 states and rose by more than 30 percent in 25 states. In Michigan, the suicide rate increased by 32.9 percent between 1999 and 2016.
The CDC report came out the same week when two high-profile suicides, that of designer Kate Spade and renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, have brought renewed attention to the issue.
The CDC also looked at 2015 suicide data for 27 states and found that 54 percent of people who died by suicide did not have known mental health conditions.
Those without known mental health conditions who died by suicide had a significantly higher likelihood of having relationship problems, criminal legal problems and were more likely to have a recent or impending crisis than those with known mental health problems, the CDC report said. Physical health problems or job and financial problems were found to near equally affect both those with and without known mental health conditions. Other key findings:
Two-thirds of those with known mental health conditions who died by suicide had a history of treatment for mental health or substance abuse order and approximately half of them were in treatment when they died.
The average annual percentage change in the overall suicide rate was 1.5 percent. For men, the average annual percentage change in the suicide rate was 1.1 percent and for women, it was 2.6 percent.
The report notes that though experts regularly say suicide is not caused by a single factor, suicide prevention is often focused on mental health alone. The CDC called for a comprehensive suicide prevention approach is needed at a statewide level that addressed the full range of factors contributing to suicide. The agency said prevention strategies should include strengthening economic support, teaching coping and problem-solving skills, promoting social connectedness and identifying and better supporting at-risk persons.
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