Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Increasing Suicide Rate

After a decade-long decrease, U.S. suicide rates have started to rise, largely because of an increase in suicides among middle-aged white men and women

A new study out of Johns Hopkins demonstrates increasing suicide rates 1999 through 2005. It also seems to show that those in middle age are more at risk than previously thought. Historically, those at greatest risk were youth/young adults and seniors, but nationwide that age dipole is changing. For many years here in Lake County the ages have been more evenly spread, as has the geographic distribution over the county.

Just as the article wonders (linked here), it has certainly crossed my mind that the present economic “downturn” is likely to affect these demographics. It is early yet, but economics and other problems have always compounded the effects of depression to contribute to the risk of suicide.

"The key is getting people into treatment and getting people to use the resources that are available to them."

[Just a note: we will be sponsoring a site for a local broadcast of the annual American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) National Survivors of Suicide Day event (Nov. 22, noon, Mundelein Fire Dept., 100 Midlothian Rd). Last year when we held the event it was a very interesting shared experience for all of the attendees and included an insightful local discussion.]

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