Suicide Rate Reaches Fifty-Year High – What Can Be Done?

Information courtesy of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US suicide rate has reached a fifty-year high. In 2017, there were 47,173 deaths due to suicide, a 3.7% increase over 2016.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. The highest suicide rate was among adults between 45 and 54 years old. In the CDC report, the most common factors contributing to suicide included:

  • Relationship problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Physical health problems
  • Job/Financial problems

In a statement released by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the organization suggests several key factors to reverse this trend:

  • Improving attitudes about seeking help for mental health conditions
  • Increasing access to affordable health care, including mental health care
  • Better training for health care providers in how to screen for suicide risk
  • More accurate data collection on suicides and suicide attempts

If you are thinking about suicide, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area any time, 24/7. For more information about suicide prevention, visit

Doug Schmidt
The Fifth Freedom Network

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