Suicide rates increase among middle-aged Americans

5:48 AM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Names on office walls usually symbolize a great accomplishment. But at the headquarters for SAVE, short for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, all the names on the wall are of people who committed suicide.

Dan Reidenberg added new names a few weeks ago. He didn't want to, but he knows the reality.

"We do have a problem with suicides in our state and in our nation," he said.

As the executive director of SAVE he wasn't surprised by latest CDC report on suicide.

The report showed that from 1999 to 2010 suicide among middle-aged Americans increased by 28 percent. The greatest increase happened in men 50 to 59 years old and women 60 to 64 years old. Locally, data from the Minnesota Department of Health show suicide during the same time frame increased by 66 percent.

There are many theories why suicide rates went up but Reidenberg believes the economy is a big force.

"When unemployment goes up we see rates of suicide go up, and with the high rates that we've had over the last several years during the recession that would suggest that we'd see an increase of suicide," he said.

Reidenberg says foreclosures could also have had an impact.

"When people don't have a steady place to live we tend to see increased rates of suicide," he said.

There is no way to track suicide prevention, but he believes it does work.

If you or someone needs help you can reach out to SAVE. Click here or call 1-800-273-8255.

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