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

Lynn Cook
June 13, 2018

That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta made a decision to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

In 2016, 76.8 percent of people who committed suicide were male and of men 83.6 percent were non-Hispanic whites, reported the CDC.

Researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide didnothave a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death.

"These findings are disturbing". Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and the lead author of the new study said, "Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors". Among the less-common factors presumed to have contributed to the suicides studied were physical health problems, legal difficulties, a family relationship issue or a job-related problem. The state of North Dakota had the highest increase. In 1999, then U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report on the state of mental health in America and called suicide "a significant public health problem".

In 2014, the state topped the national list.

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"When you do a psychological autopsy and go and look carefully at medical records and talk to family members of the victims", he said, "90 percent will have evidence of a mental health condition".

Media interested in learning more about suicide, warning signs and prevention can visit our website at

If you are in need of help, the local suicide prevention hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"These data should be a call to action for all states to intensify their focus on implementing suicide prevention policies and programs that have the strongest potential for helping save the most lives", he said.

"But our research shows something more alarming - these increases are occurring in places that have been struggling for many years: places where incomes have been stagnant and poverty rates have been high".

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High suicide numbers in the United States are not a new phenomenon.

"It's just one of those things you can't hardly believe", said Culbreath.

"CDC data shows that suicide happens to everybody", he said.

Mental illness is not a communicable disease, but there's a strong body of evidence that suicide is still contagious. From 27 states they also collected the cause surrounding the suicides in 2015.

"We know for a fact that suicide hits close to home". Montana saw 29 suicides for every 100,000 people while District of Columbia saw sever for every 100,000.

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