How to get help for someone who might be suicidal

Suicide rates rising 'significantly' across America CDC reveals in new report

Earlier this year Gov. Ralph Northam signed a new law that requires the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to report its progress and activity on suicide prevention every year.

The age group between 45 to 64 year-old saw the largest increase in suicides in the study, which Schuchat hypothesized has a connection to economic struggles.

More than half of those who died by suicide did not have a diagnosed mental health condition, the researchers found.

"And, unfortunately, our data show that the problem is getting worse", Anne Schuchat, MD, principal deputy director at CDC, said at a press briefing, reports Medscape.

Twenty-five states saw percentage rate increases of more than 30 percent over the 17 years. "I tell people, 'You may have prevented a suicide in your life and have no idea, because you were kind to somebody not knowing that they were in a moment of utter despair.' As long as it's done in a respectful and non-intrusive way, I don't think it can hurt anything - and it might help".

If you or someone you love needs help, the National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text "talk" to 741741.

The most extreme increase from 1999 to 2016 was in North Dakota, with a 57.6 percent rise. The rates have gone up more than 30% in half of all states since 1999, she says.

She speculated that inescapable social media, online bullying and the increased awareness of ways to die by suicide have contributed to rise in suicides. But that doesn't mean it is not a mental health issue, as CDC suggest by saying that is just one factor, that may mean it is a diagnosis issue. Unfortunately, it's not just Pennsylvania that saw an increase of deaths from suicide, nearly every other state recorded an increase.

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"The findings further reinforce the need to address suicide prevention through a robust, coordinated, multisector approach that combines health care system efforts with community efforts", the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention said in a statement about the report. Suicides by firearms have decreased in the state, from 54 percent in 2014 to 51 percent in 2016.

Reach out. Talk to a friend, neighbor or loved one who may be going through a hard time or who has battled mental illness.

Keep them safe and get rid of anything that could be used in a suicide attempt.

"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.

Keltz admits the warning signs of someone thinking about committing suicide aren't always easy to see, varying person by person.

Keltz believes talking about mental health and suicide will help erase the stigma associated with it.

"People tend to tip-toe around sensitive issues like suicide".

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