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Suicide Rates on the Rise Across the U.S.

PEORIA, Ill. - Mental illness doesn't discriminate, millions of people in the United States affected by some sort of mental health condition. Among those are celebrities including fashion icon Kate Spade and professional chef Anthony Bourdain, both committing suicide this week.

A new study shows suicide rates have increased 30% in the U.S. in the last 20 years. The Centers for Disease and Control is calling suicide a national public health problem. New research shows suicides are on the rise in almost every state across the country. In 2016,nearly 45,000 people died by suicide. The increases have been greatest in people aged 45 to 64.

"We found that many common life stressors were present in the period preceding the suicide," said Dr. Anne Shuchat, Deputy Director for the CDC. She adds, "Stressors could be relationship problems, financial and job issues or physical health concerns."

While suicide is more common in men than women, there has been a rise in female suicides. Experts say families should look out for signs and symptoms.

"It could be a sudden change in attitude often times anxiety, isolation, maybe not eating too much, or sleeping too much or not sleeping enough," said Holly Bill of the Hult Center. She adds, "additional symptoms could be a person stays in their room or just doesn't’t come out or socialize, any sudden change in activities."

If you're worried about a loved one, Bill says to be direct, reach out and tell them you’re concerned.

"Anything that they might notice that will start that conversation, you don’t have to be a professional." Bill adds, "When you do start the conversation as light as it might be, it’s lifting a weight off of their chest and its proven that they will feel better."

If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts and feel uncomfortable talking on the phone you can text the word "Start" to the crisis hot line at 741-741.


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