Between 2008 and 2009, the suicide rate in the United States rose by 2.4%, with a reported 36,909 suicide deaths, according to a report by the CDC. In 2008, 13.4% of individuals who committed suicide experienced job and financial problems, a report by the CDC revealed in August 2011. Furthermore, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an emergency crisis hotline, revealed that the volume of calls they received between 2010 and 2011 increased by 14%.
The increase in suicide rates has prompted the CDC to recommend increasing job placement counseling, as well as financial services that can help to lower the mental distress that can increase the risk of individual committing suicide.
Dr. Lisa Firestone, Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association and Violence and Suicide Prevention Alliance, explained:
"The recent increase in suicide, whether heightened by economic strain or other social triggers, signifies the need for education and training on understanding and preventing suicide. The suicidal state is both preventable and treatable. Services and education have been proven to save lives. Armed with the right tools to identify the warning signs and implement helper tasks, we can fight that crisis."
According to the CDC, between 2008-2009, nearly 4% of the U.S. adult population (an estimated 8.3 million adults) reported thinking about suicide in the past year, over 2.2 million adults revealed they had made suicide plans in the past year, and over 1 million reported attempting suicide.
In 2010, 20% of adults in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, although just 32.9% of these individuals said they received treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. With the decrease in U.S. mental health services, education on suicide prevention would help schools, healthcare providers, the general public, military personnel and law enforcement personnel.
Data gathered from Eurostat and the WHO, reveal that even in tough economic times, European countries with strong social safety nets and services have shown little increase in suicide rates. This proves that services and education can make a difference.
The Glendon Association and other similar organizations that provide evaluation and education are vital to lowering the suicide rate in the country. Over the past three decades, Glendon has conducted studies and developed effective evaluations for self-destructive behavior and suicide.
The Glendon Association's website, PsychAlive.org, offers suicide prevention advice that includes information on warning signs, risk factors, helper tasks and strategies for prevention and intervention that have proven effective in reducing suicide risk and completion.
Written by Grace Rattue