Suicide rate in US continues to rise, new CDC data shows

The U.S. suicide rate rose again in 2018. How can suicide prevention save lives?

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America’s suicide rate won’t stop rising. 

Numbers released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 48,344 people died by suicide in 2018, up from 47,173 the year before. While the increase was small, just two-tenths of a percent, the rise in deaths over time has been steady. Since 1999, the suicide rate has climbed 35%.  

Death rates in 2018 increased for only two of the 10 leading causes of death: suicide and influenza/pneumonia.

“I was 100% unsurprised,” said April Foreman, a clinician and board member at the American Association of Suicidology, noting systems of science and care have remained static. “That’s not acceptable. We need to start treating these deaths seriously and respecting these survivors by upping our game in public health.”

Suicide is the nation’s 10th-leading cause of death, with 14.2 deaths per 100,000 people, though that rate alone belies the scope of the problem. While thousands of people die by suicide each year, millions think about it. In 2017, 10.6 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted it, according to the CDC. 

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