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Suicide Remains Tenth Leading Cause

Suicide Remains Tenth Leading Cause of Death in the US, Three Ways to Reduce the Rate

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Age between 15-44 years, Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides

Each year, one approximately million people die from suicide. It represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds (WHO). Age between 15-44 (male and female), Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides. In the United States, Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people age between 15-24 years. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports, overall, Suicide remains the tenth leading cause of death in the US. However, there is a reason for hope. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) explains how people can reduce the suicide rate.

According to the CDC, the US suicide rate in 2018 is increased by 1.4 percent. In 2017, mortality data shows there were 47,173 suicide deaths whereas in 2018 there were 48,344; an increase of 1,171 additional deaths. Dr. Jill Harkavy-FriedmanVice President of Research for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) said, “The 2018 mortality data is showing a smaller percentage increase when compared to last year’s mortality data report – 1.4 percent increase in 2018 versus an almost 4 percent increase in 2017.”

Dr. Friedman further stated that until we scale up intervention efforts at the community, state, and national levels, we will likely continue to see an increase in suicides in the United States. He explained three important measures people can take as a nation to reduce the suicide rate.

  • Making a major investment in suicide research. People must be able to access affordable, comprehensive health care, including mental health care that specifically addresses suicide prevention. The success can eliminate the chances of majority cases where 90 percent of the time when someone dies by suicide, they have a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death.
  • Translating that research into treating mental health. Training for primary care physicians and all clinicians must be offered in how to better screen for mental health and suicide risk; and how to detect risk and provide lifesaving treatment.
  • Educating people about the warning signs of suicide and what to do if someone is struggling. We need to improve our understanding of help-seeking and how to have to care, informed conversations about mental health.
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