Rural Areas in the U.S. Faced with Rapidly Rising Suicide Rates

Suicides in the U.S. have been growing since 2000 and the rate in rural areas is higher than those in cities. This is why workers who do trauma clean up in rural areas such as Utah have observed an increase in their duties during the past few years.

Geographical Disparities

The differences between rural and urban areas have a massive impact on people. Based on the research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide risk is higher in rural areas. This is due to greater social isolation, less access to mental healthcare, and lack of proper health care providers.

The CDC’s research adds that the economic pressures could be another cause. The largest surge in suicide rate difference between rural and urban areas occurred at the start of 2007 until 2008. During this period, the economy of the country was going through a recession. The CDC also pointed to the opioid epidemic as another possible cause. The people living in rural areas abused opioids more which lead to them committing suicides.

The Suicide Rates

The CDC team revealed that nearly 600,000 Americans committed suicide from 1999 to 2015, with the largest yearly suicide rate in that last year. During this period, those who chose to hang themselves peaked. Also, the number of non-firearm suicides such as hanging, increased more than gun-related suicides.

The findings also showed that men were four times more suicidal than women. While people in the 35 to 63 and 75 above age groups had the largest rates of suicide.

The highest suicide rates belong to the Alaska/American Indian Natives. Their suicides also increased the most during the study period. Their rate jumped from about 16 to 20 per 100,000 individuals. In comparison, Caucasian suicides only increased from 15 to 18 per 100,000 individuals.

The facts are alarming. However, these will help in identifying locations that have the highest suicide risks. These will also help create better suicide prevention efforts.