Heads Up: Suicide Rates Increase
Written By Dr. Alexis Moreno, @Witandreason
Adapted from “Ending Suicide Starts Now,” Originally Published on June, 2018 at WitandReason.com
Suicide was responsible for nearly 45,000 deaths in the U.S. according to our more recent year of available data (CDC 2016). That comes out to approximately - One suicide every 12 minutes in the United States.
These numbers are a 28% suicide rate increase from 2000, and there are even more people who have attempted suicide. In 2014:
None of these figures include people who were not forthcoming about suicidal experiences or those who never received treatment for suicide attempts in the United States. Numbers help us understand the occurrence, frequency, and patterns. Remembering that each one of those numbers is a human being and each one of those human beings was associated to at the very least a small group of people, helps us understand the gravity of this health concern.
Learning that certain groups of people are at high risk for suicide doesn’t help us see everyone’s struggle. In fact, if not applied appropriately, statistics on suicide rates and risks inhibit our ability to properly diagnose, treat, and refer individuals who don’t fit the mold. Identifying patterns among those with high suicide rates give us some indication that something exceptionally concerning is going on with specialized groups of people. Something is happening that requires additional research, attention, and care. So, use the following information published by the CDC to increase your awareness and concern, while maintaining a practice of empathetically listening to all individuals who present with suicide risk factors.
While suicide is present across various groups of people, the highest rates of suicide are among the following populations:
Suicide is also disproportionately found among:
Examination of suicide across the human life span presents the following information (CDC, 2016). Among:
Decreasing these troubling rates of suicide and saving human lives is very much achievable. But just as the issue itself is multifaceted, the solution too requires multi-level interventions. Effectively preventing suicidal behaviors and deaths in the US requires effort and will across all societal-levels, private and public sectors, communities, families, relationships and individuals.
Here is a list of (non-mutually exclusive) strategies by the CDC to prevent suicide starting with the greatest potential for broad impact followed by more specialized strategies:
Psychologists and other mental health providers, educators, and advocates play a significant role in a variety of the identified strategies and approaches. Collaborating with government officials, health care systems, employers across disciplines, community organizations, schools, and media will strengthen suicide prevention efforts and increase long-term effectiveness.
Let us know how you are using your role across systems and communities to Prevent Suicide. Tweet us @DCPsychAssoc with the #SuicidePrevention
The DC Psychological Association is sponsoring the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of Darkness community walk on October 20th at the Lincoln Memorial.
Each year, suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. Yet suicide prevention doesn't receive anywhere near the funding as other leading causes of death. Please help us raise money to donate to the cause! Net proceeds from the Out of the Darkness Walks benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP uses the funds to: