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Suicides up of last decade, mirroring economic downtown

Alarming new statistics appear to be a grim reflection of the economic downtown.

A government report shows a sharp increase in suicides over the past decade.

Officials report almost all places in which adults took their own lives, they were struggling financially.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of suicides among middle-aged Americans jumped significantly between 1999 and 2010, nearly 30 percent.

Experts said potential reasons for the increase are complex.

While they said the economy is most certainly one factor, health problems and caring for both children and aging parents are also potential stressors for people in their 50s and 60s.

That age group had the highest rate of increase.

But suicides are preventable.

Principal Deputy Director of the CDC, Dr. Ileana Arias, said, “Enhancing a sense of social support so that people feel connected to friends, connected to family, a sense of belonging in their community is effective in reducing the risk for suicide.”

Experts said increasing awareness and access to mental health services can also help.