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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Why Suicide Keeps Rising for Middle-Aged Men

By Lisa Esposito
US News and World Report
Originally published Oct. 19, 2016

Suicide rates in the U.S. continue to rise, and working-age adults – particularly men – make up the largest increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Middle-aged men in the 45 to 60 range experienced a 43 percent increase in suicide deaths from 1997 to 2014, and the rise has been even sharper since 2005. Untreated mental illness, the Great Recession, work-related issues and men's reluctance to reach out for help converge to put them at greater risk for taking their own lives. And because men are more likely than women to use a gun, their suicide attempts are more often fatal.

Historically, suicide rates have always been higher for men, says Dr. Alex Crosby, surveillance branch chief in the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention. "But what we've seen in these past few years is rates have been going up among males and females," he told journalists attending a National Press Foundation conference in September. "Still, rates are higher among males – about four times higher." For suicide attempts that don't prove fatal, the balance changes, with two to three times more females than males trying to take their own lives.

"In about half of the suicides in the United States, the mechanism or the method was a firearm," Crosby says. Males are more likely to use firearms, while poison is more common for females. However, he notes, "When you look at suicide in the military, females choose firearms almost as much as men."

The article is here.