Forty-nine states saw significant increases in suicide rates in the last two decades.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by almost 25% between 1999 and 2016. North Dakota and Vermont saw the highest increases and Delaware the lowest. Nevada was the outlier with a slight decrease. Rates for both men and women are increasing, and more than 50% of people who committed suicide had no known mental health conditions.
PositiveTip: Know someone depressed, anxious, and abusing substances? Please encourage them to see a mental health professional immediately.
Exercise is associated with protecting bullied youth from suicide.
Kids who are bullied experience an adverse impact on their behavior, educational pursuits, and risk for depression. Research has found that increased exercise is associated with decreased frequency of sadness, suicidal thoughts or attempts. Among bullied adolescents, those who exercised 4 or more times per week had a 23% lower chance of suicide or thoughts of it.
PositiveTip: Encourage your schools to provide well-organized exercise programs to improved the mental health of students.
Long-term lack of sleep increases risk for suicide.
Researchers analyzed merged data from 471 people and found a significant increase in the risk of suicide among those who got less sleep. For each one hour increase in sleep duration there was a 72% decrease in the likelihood of moderate/high suicide risk. Apparently sleep mediates a synergy between insomnia, depression, and suicidal thoughts. (This data was presented at SLEEP 2013 and is awaiting publication.)
PositiveTip: Evidence continues to point to the value of adequate sleep. Are you getting enough?
Alcohol use contributes to the top three causes of death in 12-20 year olds.
Drinking alcohol contributes to the three leading causes of death among persons aged 12–20 years: unintentional injury, homicide and suicide.
PositiveTip: Avoid all alcoholic beverages, they adversely affect mental reasoning, a root cause of these three causes of death.
Bullying: take it seriously. The consequences can be life threatening.
Schoolyard bullying has been on the rise. Lots of parents talk with great concern about their children being victims. Oddly, as the incidences of bullying have risen, you don't hear many parents sounding concerned that their kids are the bullies. But research shows that getting bullied and being a bully both have mental health consequences. Both bullies and victims are at risk for depression and suicide. Bullying is serious stuff.
PositiveTip: Seek professional intervention if your children are either bullying others or being bullied. Take it seriously!