This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Suicide Is a Disturbingly Common Cause of Death

This week has witnessed two high-profile suicides, that of fashion designer Kate Spade, and of celebrity chef/world cultural explorer Anthony Bourdain. Sadly, those deaths come just as the Washington Post has summarized a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealing that suicide rates are going up in this country.
Suicide rates rose in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives.
Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.
Suicides are especially prevalent in rural counties, and this was picked up on by
“While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20% from 2001 to 2015. And this is especially concerning in rural areas,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director, in a news release. “We need proven prevention efforts to help stop these deaths and the terrible pain and loss they cause.”
The map below tells the story of the rural contribution to suicide rates.

And here is one interpretation of what's going on in these places:
The peace and quiet of country living can be the American dream. But that dream can turn to a nightmare for those who become isolated and disconnected from their communities, says Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri Extension safety and health specialist. 
Rural communities are typically tightly-knit towns, where everyone knows everyone. While this may be the case for many, rural life poses risks for marginalized groups, Funkenbusch notes. These groups include racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ persons, those living in poverty, and newcomers. 
Funkenbusch says rural communities often lack mental and behavioral health services and transportation. CDC reports that more than half of U.S. counties don’t have a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist. There also may be sociocultural factors such as stigma against seeking help, especially for males, she says.

1 comment:

  1. The latest from Iran...