CogniFit's Science blog: Mental Health And Suicide Rates Soar In The U.S.

Mental Health And Suicide Rates Soar In The U.S.

It is sad, troubling and horrific to think something could be so bad in someone’s life that they choose to take their own life. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that suicide rates are only going up in the U.S. which has many looking for answers within the realms of mental health. Between 2008 and 2009, the suicide rate in the United States increased by a staggering number of 2.4%. This may not sound like a lot, but the overall number of deaths reported by the CDC during that timeframe was at 36,909.

The economy and recession has certainly taken its toll on many individuals throughout the country. The unemployment rate has been well over 8% for years now leaving many struggling to pay bills and even put food on the table. As a result, 13.4% of individuals who committed suicide in 2008 reportedly were experiencing job and financial problems.

When people think about mental health, they often think about dementia, depression, schizophrenia and other troubling diseases. But something as simple as stress and anxiety can lead to mental disorders down the road. And there is nothing quite as stressful as losing a job when the economy is already on a down spiral.

The CDC has recommended increasing job placement counseling and financial services because of the increased suicide rates. The hope is to lower mental distress as much as possible to eliminate the risk of individuals committing suicide.

Nearly 4% of the U.S. adult population reported thinking about suicide between 2008-2009 according to the CDC. That is a staggering number of 8.3 million adults who considered ending their own life. 2.2 million adults even made plans to do so and 1 million reported attempting suicide during that time.

It is a sad fact of the matter, but 20% of all adults in the U.S. suffered from mental illness in 2010. Mental health is a real problem today and not enough education and assistance is being offered. Regardless of whether it is a result of returning from war, unemployment and money issues, or genetic problems that have come to fruition, much more needs to be done.

The worst of the storm may have passed, but the current unemployment rate still stands at 8.3% in the United States. That number has continued to drop, but tell that to the 8.3% of the population that remains unemployed. Tell that to the millions who continue to be out of work struggling to get by. And tell that to the millions who are suffering from mental health and brain fitness problems and continue to have suicidal thoughts. Times are inevitably hard and only time will tell how it will pan out.