The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says suicide among middle-aged Americans has risen at an alarming rate in the last decade.
39 states, including Georgia, have what the CDC calls a statistically significant rise in middle-aged suicides between 1999 and 2010. The rate among Georgians, ages 35-64, rose almost 25%.
Injury Center Researcher Thomas Simon says CDC tracks the numbers, but not background data, so it is impossible to pinpoint causes.
But that may not be the case in the future with a new CDC project underway. According to CDC researcher Thomas Simon, “At CDC, we’re building another system, the national violent death reporting system, that does have rich circumstance information on suicide. It’s currently in 18 states. We’re growing it from there.”
But for now, researchers can only speculate on possible causes. At the top of the list: economic woes, prescription drug abuse and the fact that baby boomers, as a group, have always had higher than normal suicide rates.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).