CDC Report: Suicide rates up in nearly every state

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - More people are killing themselves in nearly every state, according to the CDC.

Here in Alabama, the suicide rate has increased nearly 22 percent from 1999 to 2016.

"It's not always going to be someone who is incapable of going about their life and being successful," said Dr. Nadia Richardson, the founder of No More Martys, an organization focusing on the mental health of black women.

"It's going to be individuals who are very successful but,  for some reason just aren't able to manage," Dr. Richardson said.

For that reason, the suicide rate crosses all racial and socioeconomic boundaries. The report also revealed that mental health, wasn't the only factor for the increase in suicides across the country.

"Some of it has to do with societal factors in regards to financial issues, employment issues, relationship issues. So the CDC report is unique because it doesn't point to mental health alone," Richardson said.

Dr. Richardson said recognizing the signs that someone could be in distress is critical. she said its can be the smallest thing, from lack of sleep to a change in mood.

"When we think of a change in mood you automatically think someone's happy and the mood has d ropped and  they're not moody and not so happy, but it could be the opposite - to someone to be very moody and then all of a sudden become very happy. It's a false a form of happiness. They're happy because they are relieved because they now made a decision, that you know what I'm not gonna do this anymore," Dr. Richardson said.

Once you recognize the signs, you're encouraged to get help, but that sometimes can be difficult. Dr. Richardson said getting in to see a therapist could take weeks. She's pushing for the  primary care doctors to include mental wellness into preventive care.

"We don't think about having a regular check-in of your mental health and your mental well-being. That is something I encouraged because it actually breaks down the stigma and highlights something could be wrong. It puts them in a place where a professional can also point that out for them," said Dr. Richardson.

Dr. Richardson encourages the community to participate in Mental Health first-aid training, an eight-hour training where they provide strategies on how to identify a number of mental health concerns and how to support someone who may be in distress .

It's a training that No More Martys offer. To find out more about services and the training visit No More Martys website here.

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