U.S. suicide rate reaches 50 year high

Suicide rates highest in 50 years

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The U.S. suicide rate is the highest it’s been in 50 years.

More than 47,000 people took their own lives last year, which is one of the reasons life expectancy is dropping. “Simply disheartening and something that in so many cases can be prevented,” said Dr. Josh Klapow, clinical psychologist.

In many of these tragic situations, there are warning signs. Everything from thoughts of suicide to a person putting their affairs in order to mood changes from sad to calm.

“A sense of resolution, a sense of peace, can be a warning sign that they have come to a decision about taking their own life. It does not guarantee that they’re going to,” said Klapow.

People more at risk for suicide include those who have had some type of head injury or family history of it occurring. Depression is also a factor.

“Despite the advent of social media and increase of technological connectedness, individuals are feeling increasingly isolated. Feeling of isolation and isolation from other people are a risk factor for depression and suicide,” said Klapow.

If you know someone who has the risk factors or shows the warning signs, it’s important to get them help. Talking is never a bad thing.

"It’s the number one myth that everybody seems to think that if I talk about it to my loved one it may cause them to do it. That is not the case,” said Klapow.

People needing help can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.

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