CDC reports increased suicide rates across U.S.


One day after the Center for Disease Control declared that suicide was a national problem, another celebrity has died after an apparent suicide.

On Friday morning, it was announced that world-renowned chef, author, and TV personality Anthony Bourdain took his own life in France.  His death comes just days after iconic fashion designer Kate Spade took her own life.

On Thursday, the CDC released a report showing every state has seen an increase over the past two decades; every state except for Nevada.

According to the CDC, the suicide rate in Nevada dropped by 1 percent between 1999 and 2016.  With that said, experts 8 News NOW spoke with said Nevada is still ranked fifth overall.

They say suicide is a major issue that needs to be tackled together.

“It’s preventable; that’s the key,” said Richard Egan, suicide and training outreach at the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention.

According to Egan, simply offering a helping hand can save a life, especially now with the recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.

“A celebrity’s suicide can create a contagion that we want to be aware of and those individuals who are a risk, who might be connected to that celebrity, we want to reach out to them,” Egan said.

The new CDC report states half of the country has seen a more than 30 percent increase in suicide rates since 1999.  Nevada was the only state that saw a decrease.

However, data shows more Nevadans under the age of 18 committed suicide this year already, compared to all of last year.

“We do have a high suicide rate,” said Egan.

Egan says warning signs of suicide include violence, acting restless, and withdrawing from family and friends.

In addition to talking with loved ones, finding resources is key.

“That includes a professional to help them with their thoughts of suicide,” Egan said.

Psychiatrists like Dr. Anthony Quinn of Harmony Healthcare says getting medical treatment can sometimes be the best and most proactive option.

“A lot of people, they feel like they know themselves well, or they feel like their loved ones know them very well, but sometimes there are things that are underlying that need to be straightened out,” Dr. Anthony Quinn said. “It’s tough if you haven’t been through a certain level of training to be able to make all those decisions.” 

According to Dr. Quinn, those decisions can include medication management and psychotherapy. While Nevada is making progress, there’s still room for improvement.

“It has to be consistent over the years to get more and more people involved,” Egan said.

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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