The multitude of potential variables driving the trend will need to be explored in future research, and Phillips currently has a grant from the American Foundation of Suicide to do just that.

“The recent increase among middle-aged adults indicates that suicide is causing a large public health burden in this age group that is not currently being addressed,” said Simon. “The findings underscore the importance of developing and evaluating prevention programs for this population, and it is important for mental health clinicians to be aware of these trends and to consider the mental health issues, stresses, and challenges that middle-aged adults are likely to face.”  


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*If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and visit online at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist and freelancer writer based in Atlanta.

References

  1. Sullivan EM, Annest JL, Luo F, et al. Suicide Among Adults Aged 35-64 Years – United States, 1999-2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; 2013; 62(17):321-5.
  2. Hempstead KA, Phillips JA. Rising suicide among adults aged 40-64 years: the role of job and financial circumstances. American Journal of Preventive Medicine; 2015; 48(5):491-500.
  3. Phillips JA, Nugent CN. Suicide and the Great Recession of 2007-2009: the role of economic factors in the 50 U.S. states. Social Science & Medicine; 2014; 116:22-31.
  4. Luo F, Florence CS, Quispe-Agnoli M, et al. Impact of business cycles on US suicide rates, 1928-2007. American Journal of Public Health; 2011; 101(6):1139-46.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US. Retrieved on September 17, 2015 from http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/PainkillerOverdoses/index.html.