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Suicide hits rural America hardest – Axios

Suicide rates have risen steadily in recent years in the US, but the trend has hit rural areas the hardest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between the lines: There is no one explanation for the trend. Reduced access to mental health and behavioral health experts, less economic recovery, or a tendency to not seek help so quickly could contribute to the higher rates of suicide in rural America, according to Drs. Jane Pearson, chair of the NIMH suicide research consortium, said Axios.

The Big Picture: Suicide rates in the US rose during the recession, and although there has since been a significant economic recovery, they continued to rise.

  • That does not apply to the whole world: The global suicide rate has dropped by 29% since 2000. But even in foreign countries, there is still a difference between suicide rates in the countryside and in the city.
  • In China for example, the nation is urbanized, and women who are much more likely to commit suicide in China are moving to the cities instead of looking after the family in rural areas. The suicide rates have fallen dramatically, especially among Chinese women, said Pearson.

A major reason for the worldwide decline in suicide rates was the decline in access to deadly products that can be used as weapons. In Sri Lanka, for example, suicide rates have fallen, as certain deadly pesticides used to grow crops are banned, the Economist said.

  • In the US, weapons are the most common means of committing suicide: According to CDC figures, 22,938 people committed suicide by firearms in 2016.
  • For this reason some suicide prevention groups and the public health experts talked with gun owners – they showed up at gun shows, at shooting gallery events – and talked about [suicide prevention] and how to locate gun owners who may be at risk Pearson.

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