According to the findings published in the CDC's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report", 54% of those who died by suicide in 2015 did not have a known mental health condition.
Between 1999 and 2016, 25 states saw suicide rates jump more than 30 percent.
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.
"Comprehensive statewide suicide prevention activities are needed to address the full range of factors contributing to suicide", the report said.
While the CDC did not speculate on the ties between suicide and opioids, a number of states with high rates of opioid use also ranked high in the rate of increase in suicides. "The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities". It's up everywhere. And we know that the rates are actually higher than what's reported. Along with mental health training for police and correctional officers, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has pushed for education about removing prescription drugs from people's homes and reducing access to lethal weapons.
"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". Churches, schools and police also need to get better at recognizing people at risk for suicide and helping them get treatment or feel less isolated, he said.
While the murder rate has fallen dramatically over the past four decades, suicide is on the rise, and the reasons are multiple. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide".
Montana had the highest suicide rate, at 29.2 per 100,000 people per year, while the District of Columbia had the lowest, at 6.9 suicides per 100,000 people per year.
"It's just one of those things you can't hardly believe", said Culbreath.
But Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said that that statistic must be viewed in context. The cause of death was suicide.
States along the Northeast Corridor, including DE, tended to have among the lowest rates of suicide. The alliance is working with more than 250 hospitals to ensure that someone brought in after a suicide attempt is connected to long-term mental-health care, Dr. Reed said. They found that in every state but Nevada the suicide rate is up.
"There have been previous reports recently that have shown suicide is one of the major contributors to a decrease in life expectancy in this country, which makes it even more alarming", he said.
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