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IVP & Safe States News: Suicide

Vital Signs: Suicide rising across the US

Friday, June 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Alonso
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Each month, the CDC Vital Signs Program releases a call to action about an important public health topic based on the latest available data and analysis. This month’s CDC Vital Signs is about the increase in suicide rates in nearly every U.S. state from 1999-2016 and the range of contributing factors to suicide.

Based on data from the National Vital Statistics System in 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016.
  • Suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of states from 1999 -2016.

Based on data from CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 27 states in 2015:

  • More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.
  • Some circumstances and contributing factors among those with and without mental health conditions include:
    • Relationship problems.
    • Crisis in the past or upcoming 2 weeks.
    • Problematic substance use.
    • Physical health problems.
    • Job/Financial problems.
  • Firearms were the leading method of suicide death, accounting for 49% overall.


Different groups in the community working together can help prevent suicide, including public health, private sector, health care, and community based organizations.

States and communities can:

    • Identify and support those at risk. 
    • Teach coping and problem-solving skills.
    • Promote safe and supportive environments, e.g., encourage safe storage of medications and firearms.
    • Offer activities that bring people together so they feel connected and not alone.
    • Connect people at risk to coordinated mental and physical healthcare.
    • Expand options for temporary assistance for those struggling to make ends meet.
    • Prevent future risk of suicide among those who have lost a friend or loved one to suicide.

Everyone can know the five steps to help someone at risk, (see :


    1. Ask.
    2. Keep them safe.
    3. Be there.
    4. Help them connect.
    5. Follow up.


More information and previous issues of Vital Signs can be found at We hope you will find these materials useful to you, your family, and friends. Please also consider forwarding this message to your colleagues, partners, grantees, and others who might use it to help themselves and others stay healthy.  

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