How to have tough conversations about mental health

Posted June 11, 2018

The number of suicides is increasing across the country, according to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control.

Still, Schuchat stressed that better recognition of mental health conditions and improved access to mental health care remain important in preventing suicides. It's a hidden problem for many people.

"It's a national problem of wide scope that we need comprehensive approaches for", said Anne Schuchat, a CDC deputy director.

The back to back deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are part of a disturbing trend.

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Perhaps more worryingly, a total of 54 percent of people who died by suicide have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

"We don't have all the answers".

There is a gender factor that really shows in this study. Since 1999, the suicide rates in Nevada have actually dropped by 1 percent.

A lot of those states with the highest suicide rates happen to be in the Midwest where there are lower populations and more rural areas. Middle-aged adults - ages 45 to 64 - had the largest rate increase, rising to 19.2 per 100,000 in 2016 from 13.2 per 100,000 in 1999. Though it's not clear why, there are some hints that the economic effects of the Great Recession of 2008 could be partly responsible. I don't talk about him as a person who died by suicide because that was how he died. Dubbed the Werther Effect, it's very real.

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There's also no single cause for suicide. Or for global folks, a list of crisis centers can be found here. Among people aged 15 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

"Statistics show that if we can reach troubled people before, even in the midst of suicide ideation, there is a good chance they can be helped", said Schumer. "They don't see themselves two years, 10 years down the road", said Amy Groh, who also works on the Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Twenty-five states recorded jumps of more than 30 percent.

She said reasons people commit suicide are limitless, and instead of doubting the seriousness of what pushes someone to suicide, people should instead open their hearts.

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests removing means to suicide such as guns or pills; talking openly on the topic and asking a person if they are having thoughts of suicide; asking what you can do to help and then carefully listening to the answer. Although we don't personally know them, with celebrities we feel like we know them.