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Death to America: Suicide Surge Parallels Era of Economic Woes

‘Many people view suicide as a mental health problem, but many people who die of suicide do not have a mental health problem,’ explains Kristin Holland of the CDC. Lack of accessible healthcare and economic anxiety believed to play major role in troubling trend. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Coinciding with growing income inequality, widespread economic stagnation, and a continued lack of basic health services during the same time period, a new federal report reveals a surging suicide rate among the U.S. population over the last three decades.
Published Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the new report shows how—after a plateau in the 1980s and 90s—the suicide rate in the U.S. dramatically increased from 1999 to 2014, with the largest increase taking place after 2006. According to the CDC, suicide remains the 10th leading cause of death in the country.
“It’s a broad-based increase in suicide,” Sally Curtin, a statistician with the CDC and one of the report’s main authors, told the PBS Newshour.
Among the key statistics contained in the report: