Turning great ideas into healthier communities

PHI in the News

US Suicide Rates Are The Highest They've Been Since World War II, According To The CDC

June 20, 2019 | Julia Reinstein | BuzzFeed News

Suicides are increasing at a particularly alarming rate among indigenous women.

Mock tombstones designating some of the more than 1,000 people who killed themselves in Washington state in 2017.
Mock tombstones designating some of the more than 1,000 people who killed themselves in Washington state in 2017. The installation was placed near the Capitol in Olympia in March. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

US suicide rates are the highest they've been since World War II, federal health officials said Thursday, with the rise particularly acute among indigenous women.

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate was 33% higher in 2017 than in 1999.

The increase was seen in both men and women and among all races and ethnicities.

Still, the uptick was not equally sharp for all groups — it was felt at a disproportionate rate by Native Americans and Alaska Natives, and particularly by women in these communities.

For indigenous women, the suicide rate increased by 139%. For men in the same group, it went up 71%.

The rates for this group have been particularly high among young people, with the vast majority of suicides affecting those ages 15 to 44. Among the 45-to-65 age group, the rate was highest among white people for both men and women.

Native Americans have long faced disproportionately high rates of suicide, particularly for young people, as compared with other groups in the US, according to the Indian Health Service.

"As a result of historical trauma, chronically underfunded federal programs, and broken promises on the part of the US government," Native Americans face a slew of issues that have driven suicide into a crisis, according to the Center for Native American Youth.

Continue reading the full article in BuzzFeed News