Report shows suicide rates have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999

Posted at 3:35 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 17:35:23-04

(NBC News) Police confirmed Thursday that designer Kate Spade’s death earlier this week was, in fact, a suicide.

Her husband revealed the fashion icon suffered from anxiety and depression and had been getting help. In a statement, Andy Spade said of his wife’s passing "It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling."

It’s a situation facing thousands of other, everyday Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control reports a nearly 30 percent rise in suicides since 1999. 

Only about half of those people had a diagnosed mental health condition. Many who died by suicide had been struggling with substance abuse, finances, stable housing or personal relationships.

"Teaching coping skills and problem solving skills and providing access to services can help with those challenges," says the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat.

Doctors say there are warning signs a person needs immediate help. 

"Any change in behavior patterns, withdrawing, sadness, irritability, anger, and losing their temper more quickly — those would all be indicators that possibly that person’s mental health is deteriorating," says Dr. Christine Moutier of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, and one of only three leading causes that’s rising. The other two are Alzheimer’s Disease and drug overdoses.

Anyone who needs help should call 1-800-273-8255 to connect to the National Suicide Hotline.

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