Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

Recent CDC report finds rates increasing

Recent CDC report finds rates increasing

Almost 45,000 people died of suicide in 2016. Remember that most suicides can be prevented with early and frequent intervention by friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances.

Bourdain, a chef and host of CNN's Parts Unknown food-and-travel show, died of an apparent suicide Friday in a French hotel. She says one of the best things we can do is to be aware of any changes.

The traumatic experience turned Smith into a suicide prevention advocate and led her into a career with OSF HealthCare as a behavioral health navigator.

Suicide presents a "growing public health problem", with significant increases in 44 of the 50 states, said the report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is not only an issue for the mentally ill but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle issues.

The CDC, the top U.S. public health agency, said individual states need to do more to boost suicide prevention "and address the range of factors contributing to suicide". As a result, experts predict we're likely to see a contagion effect of increased attempts following celebrity deaths by suicide. "We need to", she said.

Moreover, suicide can be preventable - death should not be an acceptable outcome of depression, said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"There's a stigma attached with mental illness, there's a stigma that's attached with suicide, and it's a comfort level", she said. However, for those who may struggle with intrusive and unremitting thoughts of death by their own hand, these suicides can actually feel empowering. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. "People don't just go from being perfectly healthy one day to having suicidal ideation the next, just as they don't go from being perfectly healthy one day to having any other late-stage chronic condition the next", Gionfriddo said in the statement.

For someone in a suicide crisis, Stage says it's OK to get even more specific with questions: "Do you have a plan?"

Treatment for chronic depression and anxiety - often the precursors to suicide - has never been more available and more widespread.

Suicide is rarely caused by a single factor.

Another guideline from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is to avoid saying someone "committed" suicide, as NPR's standards and practices editor Mark Memmott has reminded the newsroom this week.

"With recent high profile deaths by suicide, this is a time to stand together and resolve to do more".

The report showed an overall 25.4 percent increase nationally during the period, with only one state -- Nevada -- seeing a decrease in its rate.

"Comprehensive statewide suicide prevention activities are needed to address the full range of factors contributing to suicide", the report said. These clear steps can lower the national suicide rate.

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