Middle-aged Americans dying by suicide at alarming rate: Report

suicide preventionThe Center for Disease Control released the report “Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999–2014″ in which it compared suicide data from 1999 with the most recent suicide data from  2014.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the only top leading cause of death for which the rate is increasing.

Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement about the report:

“We applaud the CDC for taking a closer look at the data related to suicide, as this is a critically important health care issue that deserves our full attention. We were encouraged to learn that for older Americans (over 75 years), the suicide rate has been decreasing recently. However, we were very troubled to see the rate increasing remarkably for people between the ages of 45 and 64, for both men and women.

The data presented in this report is just one cross section of what we need to get a full picture of the suicide rates across America.  Today, only 32 of the states in the United States have fully adopted the National Violent Death Reporting System, the database system through which we are able to gather more detailed information about suicide related deaths and expand our knowledge about the factors involved when people die by suicide. This information is essential to developing, informing and evaluating suicide prevention programs which is the reason AFSP continues to advocate for full funding and implementation of the NVDRS.

As the nation’s largest private funder of suicide research, we know that suicide prevention efforts that are concentrated and strategic can be successful. We have seen that targeted efforts can reduce suicide rates and many of these can be expanded for wider impact and more lives saved. As a nation, we need to invest our time and resources in such prevention efforts. The lives of millions of Americans depend on it.”

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