Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade's deaths are part of a growing problem in the US

Cheryl Sanders
June 13, 2018

In 2014, the state topped the national list.

Most of the suicide victims in that age range were men. There were 44,965 suicide deaths in 2016, according to CDC data. While both deaths leave permanent holes in US - and global - culture, they are an opportunity for a much-needed discussion on suicide prevention.

Suicide contagion refers to the phenomenon of indirect exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors influencing others to attempt to kill themselves.

"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors". It impacts people regardless of race, ethnicity. What possible influence might there be from fictional suicides in movies or television shows like "13 Reasons Why", or from music lyrics.

And Richardson says the rise of social media may feed the increase. That was close to 250 years ago, in 1774. Almost half (42 percent) turn to suicide at least partly due to relationship problems. In 2016 alone there have been 45,000 deaths due to suicide.

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What is a suicide cluster? From 27 states they also collected the cause surrounding the suicides in 2015.

Clusters occur mainly among teenagers and young adults. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide".

"There's four disorders that have greatest increased risks of suicide: bipolar, depression, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, and PTSD".

Researchers and advocacy groups who work to prevent suicide say the report shows that much more needs to be done to tackle this growing problem.

That means any public health effort to reduce suicides can't exclusively focus on those who have reached out for help.

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The rates of suicide for all states and the District of Columbia were calculated using data from the National Vital Statistics System.

What can be done to minimize contagion? Guidelines include not reporting the details of the death and watching your words.

"There were a couple of warning signs, but I didn't catch on it".

All these practices can help minimize any effect from news coverage of suicide.

The program will be funded through a $3.5 million federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant. Don't be afraid to discuss suicide with those at risk - it can help.

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"Due to higher poverty rates, higher likelihood of hourly pay and productivity-based labor, and lack of transportation infrastructure, mental health services are often not accessible even if they are available in a rural community - that is, even though it is there, many people either can not get to it or can not afford (either directly or indirectly) to go", he said.

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