On Thursday, June 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report that indicated that 45,000 people committed suicide in 2016. The report indicated that more than half the victims did not have a known mental health condition. There were a variety of contributing factors both for those with a known mental health condition and those without: 42 percent had relationship problems, 29 percent had a recent crisis, 28 percent a substance use problem, and 22 percent had physical health problems. Overall a majority of victims were males especially among those with no known mental health condition (84 percent). The chief method of suicide was a firearm (55 percent with no known mental health condition, 41 percent with known condition).
Key points in the Vital Signs report include:
• In 2016, nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the US among people 10 years and older
• From 1999-2016, suicide rates increased in nearly every state, with 25 states experiencing increases of more than 30% each
• Data from 27 states participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System in 2015 indicate that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition
• A range of factors contributes to suicide beyond mental health conditions alone, including relationship, substance use, physical health, job, financial, and legal problems.
While this report does not focus specifically on teen suicides, recent reports by the CDC indicate that that the number of children under the age of 18 who have committed suicide has increased from 836 in 2007 to 1533 in 2016. Earlier CDC reports indicate that white children who commit suicide between the ages of 10 to 17 was up by 70 percent between 2006 and 2016. White children and teens commit suicides more frequently than black children and teens but the rate of increase for black children and youth is increasing at a higher rate at 77 percent. A 2017 report that studied pediatric hospitals, found that admissions of patients ages 5 through 17 with suicidal acts or thoughts had doubled between 2008 and 2015. Another startling statistic is the younger age groups now including children well before teen years.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: