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Suicide: how to tackle the killer in our midst

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The numbers are staggering. According to figures just released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC); in 2016 alone, there were almost 45,000 suicides in the U.S. That amounts to one suicide every 12.3 minutes.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the general population and the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15-34. The CDC also reported an alarming increase in the rate of suicides in all states between 1999 and 2016. In over half of the states, suicide rates have increased 30%.

Over half of those who die as a result of suicide do not have any known mental illness, so the sudden loss often comes as a complete shock to those left behind.

Last Friday, I, like many others around the world, was shocked and saddened to hear 61-year-old Anthony Bourdain had died of an apparent suicide. Just a few days earlier, the fashion world was stunned by the suicide of renowned designer Kate Spade.


Chef, TV presenter and writer Anthony Bourdain.

Chef, TV presenter and writer Anthony Bourdain.

What happened? A common denominator in most suicides is depression. As someone who has suffered from depression from an early age, I still struggle to find the words that begin to explain the hopelessness and desperation you experience during a profound episode. William Styron, author of the highly acclaimed “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness” said it well, “The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.”

Read more: Kate Spade’s husband writes heartbreaking statement about her recent struggles and death

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), well over 16 million Americans aged 18 and older suffered clinical depression in 2016. Almost one third of those who suffered did not get any medical treatment. An estimated 3.1 million........

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