Suicide rates rising across country, up more than 30 percent in Ohio

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The United States has seen a dramatic rise in suicides in the past 17 years, according to a new report just released by the CDC.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country.

And middle-aged adults are dying by suicide at the largest rate increase.

Just a few days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade, this rings the alarm on a growing problem.

Dr. Deborah Koricke, a clinical pyschologist at the Center for Effective Living in Rocky River, is on the front line.

"I see it in reality where we've had more successful suicides in clients who come here. And this of course doesn't include any of the attempts," Koricke said.

This CDC report found rates of suicide in Ohio are up 31 to 37 percent in the last three decades.

In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide.

Suicide rates increased in all groups, but especially in middle-aged adults from 45 to 64 years old.

"One big factor certainly could be break up of marriages. Kids leaving home, dramatic life changes. People can also be very upset if they lose their parents, lose their job at a point in life where it's a lot more difficult to find a job," Koricke said.

The CDC says more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.

Cleveland19 asked Koricke what might be different from 1999 to 2016, the years the study scrutinized.

"People talk a lot more about social media pressure. And you might think that somebody's having a better life because no one's going to put bad stuff on Facebook," Koricke said.

If you know someone who may be suicidal, Koricke says it's time to have a difficult conversation.

"You have to say, 'I'm really worried. You're not the way you used to be, is something wrong?' Or 'how are you handling this, I know you lost your mom a month ago?'" she said.

Your concern could save a life and help your friend or family member get out of the box they're stuck in.

"Things could happen that could turn their life around a week or a month later, but they don't wait to turn around and figure it out," Koricke said.

The CDC study did not look at the potential reasons for an increase in suicide rates.

They found guns were the most common method of suicide.

Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties offer free training to help you recognize the signs of suicide.

You can also learn how to have a difficult conversation with a loved one who may be suicidal in an hour to 90-minute course.

If you're having suicidal thoughts, there's help available here in Cuyahoga County.

You can call the Suicide Prevention Coalition hotline at 216-623-6888.

Text "741741" or chat online at ADAMHSCC.ORG.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.