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Newest CDC data shows Tennessee suicides up 24 percent since 1999


Newest CDC data shows Tennessee suicides up 24 percent since 1999

By BROOKE WANSER

In a week of two high-profile celebrity deaths by suicide: fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain; statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday paint a grim picture of the rising suicide rate across the United States.

From 1999 to 2016, suicide rates increased in each state by anywhere from 5 percent to 57 percent.

The nationwide suicide rate rose 30 percent during that time frame.

Nevada, the only state in which the suicide rate lowered in the time span, has long been among the top ten states in the nation for death by suicide.

In that time period, Tennessee’s suicide rate rose 24.2 percent.

Neighboring Alabama’s rate rose 21.9 percent, while Georgia’s rose 16.2 percent and South Carolina’s rose 38.3 percent.

The report identified top factors leading to suicide among those with and without a mental health problem, including relationship problems (42 percent), physical health problems (22 percent), and problematic substance abuse (28 percent).

Perhaps most surprising, 54 percent of those who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.

The report suggested states and communities do a better job at identifying those with mental illnesses, teach coping skills, offer activities that bring people together to connect, and reach out to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, which puts them at a higher risk of suicide.

It also encourages everyone to inquire into their friends’ and family member’s well being, listen to them, and reduce access to lethal means for those at risk.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Talk: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Chat: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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