The suicide rate is the highest in decades, the last warning sign of the worsening of a public health problem in America, which requires increased attention.
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47,000 Americans committed suicide in 2017. In other words, the suicide rate was 14 out of 100,000 – up 33% from 10 , 5 people in 1999.
The suicide rate is at a peak of 50 years, according to the AP. The new data show that there were 2,000 more deaths by suicide last year compared to 2016, the year when suicide became the second leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 to 34 and the fourth cause of blindness among middle-aged Americans. .
This increase is partly responsible for a further decline in life expectancy this year. Americans now live on average a little over 78 years and six months, according to the report. The average life expectancy has decreased every year since 2016.
Suicide is on the rise, but that does not mean it's a common occurrence. Since we are very sensitive to information about what is normal, it is important to note that although suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, it is still rare and should be more rare.
The increase in the number of suicides is not yet well understood, but one of the conclusions of previous CDC research is that it is not necessarily related to mental health: more than half of those who die by suicide in 2016 had no known mental health problems.
Instead of, As Julia Belluz of Vox reported this summer following the death of celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain, researchers have found that the majority of suicides are related to relationship problems, substance use, health, job or finance.
This goes hand in hand with the other reason for the decrease in life expectancy: the rise in drug overdoses. There have been more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 – the highest number of drug overdose deaths in a year in the history of the United States. Suicides and overdoses of substance abuse have led to increased mortality, especially among poor, middle-class Americans, which can not be ignored, as Belluz notes:
Researchers have explained this decline, in part, by an increase in the number of "deaths due to despair": suicides, alcoholism and drug overdoses, particularly due to opioid analgesics, are a growing problem for whites. Average age.
Experts say that suicide is largely preventable. Research has shown, for example, that states with higher rates of firearms possession also have higher suicide rates, suggesting that stricter firearms laws could reduce the rate of firearms. suicide. The CDC also suggested that an emphasis on housing and financial policies and on "promoting social cohesion" could prevent suicide.
"We need to ensure that suicide prevention is … addressed on the same scale and with the same vigor as we are dealing with other public health issues in this country," said Bob Turner of the Alliance. National Action for suicide prevention at USA Today. Otherwise, "the number of people who die by suicide or who have suicidal thoughts will continue to increase."
Suicide is a frustrating and stubborn tragedy, which is spreading more and more. But it's a trend that can be changed. It is becoming increasingly important to recognize the warning signs and to know common risk factors, such as a family history of suicide, a history of mental health problems and recent loss or personal hardship. Here's how to help.