The rates were worst in rural counties of the U.S. But they were bad everywhere, especially for white men. The hardest-hit group was Native Americans in rural areas. In urban areas Native Americans were less at risk.
Although the report cites economic factors and access to health care as generally contributing factors to suicide, it does not come to direct conclusions about what caused these suicides.
But the findings will be no surprise to many researchers who followed the details of the recovery. While the economic recovery has been good for the richest 1 percent of the population and the finance industry has surged, others have not been so lucky. Average households are just now dragging themselves back to the income levels they were at more than a decade ago.
Employment levels are back up, but the jobs for average people aren't paying as well. And other studies have pointed to how despair can hurt people's health.
Materials provided along with the CDC report make suggestions to deal with this as a public health problem. They include:
- Strengthen household financial security
- Stabilize housing: reduce foreclosures and abandoned housing
- Increase access to mental health care
- Reduce access to lethal means among populations at risk of suicide
- Encourage a help-seeking culture