United States Sees Highest Suicide Rate in 15 Years
Source: The Glendon Association/Violence and Suicide Prevention Alliance
The latest data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the rate of US suicide has been increasing since 2000, with 2009 marking the highest number of suicides in 15 years.
The CDC report showed that between 2008 and 2009, the suicide rate increased 2.4%, with 36,909 suicide deaths reported nationally. In August 2011, a report from the CDC showed that in 2008, 13.4% of people who committed suicide had experienced job and financial problems. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an emergency crisis hotline reported a 14% increase in call volume between 2010 and 2011. The CDC’s thus recommended increasing counseling, job placement and financial services that can help reduce the mental distress that can increase suicide risk.
“The recent increase in suicide, whether heightened by economic strain or other social triggers, signifies the need for education and training on understanding and preventing suicide,” said Dr. Lisa Firestone, Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association and Violence and Suicide Prevention Alliance. “The suicidal state is both preventable and treatable. Services and education have been proven to save lives. Armed with the right tools to identify the warning signs and implement helper tasks, we can fight this crisis.”
Between 2008 and 2009 an estimated 8.3 million adults (almost 4% of the US adult population) reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to the CDC. More than 2.2 million adults reported making suicide plans in the past year, and more than 1 million adults reported attempting suicide in the past year.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20% of American adults suffered from mental illness in 2010, but only 39.2% of that group said they received treatment. With this decrease in US mental health services, the general public, schools, law enforcement, healthcare providers, and military personnel would all benefit from education on suicide prevention.
The Glendon Association’s free website, PsychAlive.org, provides suicide prevention advice that includes information on warning signs, risk factors, helper tasks and strategies for prevention and intervention that have proven effective in reducing suicide risk and completion.
European countries with strong social safety nets and services have shown little increase in suicide rates, even in rough economic times,according to data collected from Eurostat and the World Health Organization, proving that education and services can make a difference. Organizations like The Glendon Association that provide education and assessment are important to reducing the rate of suicide in the country. Over the past 30 years, Glendon has conducted research and developed effective assessments for both suicide and self-destructive behavior.
Individuals in crisis or who know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
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