Suicide rates rose in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Middle-aged adults had the largest number of suicides, and a particularly high increase in rates", CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat told reporters on a conference call Thursday, calling the new data "disturbing".
These new statistics come just days after the shocking news of handbag designer Kate Spade's alleged sudden suicide.
And the increase in suicides in MA has been blamed on the travails of middle-aged men, who account for the largest number of suicide deaths.
"Research for many years and across social and health science fields has demonstrated a strong relationship between economic downturns and an increase in deaths due to suicide", Sarah Burgard an associate professor of sociology at the University of MI, explained in an email on Thursday. "Anytime we want to resolve something that involves firearms, we've need to talk about firearms explicitly", he says. With considerations to gender, significant suicide rate increases were observed among males and females in 34 and 43 states, respectively. Overall, almost 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016, which is more than twice the number of deaths from homicide, the CDC said.
"Any life stressors that are weighing on someone who has a history of or is now struggling with their mental health - that's a person who you have to be anxious about", said psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf. The state has tried to tackle the problem with a website, https://massmen.org, that targets men in this age group.
Research consistently points to a strong association between firearm access and suicide deaths.
The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the US, with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. But other problems - such as the loss of a relationship, financial setbacks, substance abuse and eviction - were common precursors, both among those who had a mental health diagnosis and those who did not.More news: Golden Knights plan to stay alive vs. Capitals
Guns were the most common method used for suicide, accounting for nearly half of the people who died.
This recommendation, however, is only really useful if suicide is a generally predictable phenomenon. Guns are still the most common means of suicide, accounting for about half of all suicide deaths in the US.
Researchers looked at a 16-month time period between January 2015 and April 2016 when there were 61 deaths in New Orleans that were classified as suicides.
"A big problem that has not yet been addressed in practice is that we continue to rely nearly entirely on people themselves to proactively tell us if they are suicidal", said Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University.
The CDC report cites several different approaches, such as working to stabilize housing and teaching coping and problem-solving skills early in life.
The report said people without known mental health problems were more likely to die by firearms than those with known mental health problems. Because anybody can experience those stresses.
This report contains information from the Associated Press.
If you or someone you know need help, call Toronto Distress Centre at 416-408-4357.