Suicide rates have increased across the United States — and in dozens of states by more than 30 percent, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based on public health data from 1999 to 2016.
Among suicide victims counted in 2015 in 27 states, 54 percent had no known mental health condition, researchers say in the June 8 report. For those who died, circumstances surrounding their suicide included relationship or job problems, the loss of a home, legal troubles and physical health issues. These factors played a role whether suicide victims had a diagnosed medical condition or not.
With suicide, “there’s no one cause. It’s a confluence of contributors at a particular stress point in time,” says clinical psychologist Jill Harkavy-Friedman, the vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in New York City. “It’s very important to know that it’s not just mental illness; it’s many factors.”