Suicide Crisis

July 12, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 25
Can the rising rate be stemmed?
By Christina L. Lyons


More than 47,000 Americans died by suicide in 2017, twice as many as by homicide, according to the latest federal count, and another 1.4 million attempted to take their lives. The nation's suicide rate has been rising since 2000 among nearly every age group, particularly adolescents, young adults and middle-aged men. Researchers cite a variety of theories for the increase, including undiagnosed or untreated mental health problems, fallout from the opioid crisis, economic pressures, easy access to guns and increased use of social media by the young. New drug and psychological therapies offer some hope of effective treatment for those at risk of suicide, but experts say health care providers, suicide counselors, family members and others need better ways to spot signs of suicide risk. Some researchers are looking to artificial intelligence and machine learning as potential tools. Meanwhile, a new treatment based on the old party drug ketamine is being tested as a rapid-acting treatment for severe depression.

Renee Conlogue Foreman (Getty Images/Portland Press Herald/Derek Davis)
Renee Conlogue Foreman, of Gray, Maine, holds a preschool graduation photo of her son, Royce, who died by suicide in April while at college. The nation's suicide rate has been rising since 2000 and is now the highest since the 1940s. (Getty Images/Portland Press Herald/Derek Davis)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Mar. 24, 2023  Aging and Mental Health
Jul. 01, 2022  Youth Mental Health
Jul. 31, 2020  COVID-19 and Mental Health
Oct. 11, 2019  The Insanity Defense
Jul. 12, 2019  Suicide Crisis
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Internet and Social Media
Medical Research and Advocacy
Mental Health