Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade's deaths are part of a growing problem in the US

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

The most recent data (2014-2016) in the report shows a fourfold difference in state suicide rates, ranging from 6.9 per 100,000 residents per year in Washington, D.C., to 29.2 per 100,000 residents in Montana. The CDC report on suicide rates appears in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Friday.

Overall, the USA experienced a 25% rise in the rate of suicides during that period, with individual states ranging from a 6% increase in DE to a almost 58% increase in North Dakota, the researchers say.

Often, the suicide seemed to happen without warning: 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn't have a previously known mental health issue.

"These findings are disturbing", Schuchat says. Experts say that this study reveals that not all who are suffering from long term mental health problems are at suicide risk. The highest rate of increase took place in North Dakota. Of the 25 states where the suicide rate increase by more than 30 percent, the most noticeable rises occurred in western states.

STONE: Half of states actually saw rates of suicide increase more than 30 percent.

Prevention efforts are best done when "people can get help solving the underlying drivers of the problems causing them to feel hopeless and despair", Stuber said.

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Jeffrey Bridge is director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

And as evidenced by the deaths of Spade and Bourdain it's important to remember that sometimes people struggle with mental health challenges friends or family may not know about.

Previous studies have suggested economic downturns and the nation's opioid crisis contributed to the rise in middle-aged suicides. Firearms was the most common method used by both groups, followed by suffocation, poisoning and "other".

Little says you need to be willing to be able to ask the hard and uncomfortable questions to make sure the people you love are okay.

Abby Litovski is over the center's crisis and suicide line program and says since news of the suicides came out, they have certainly gotten an increase in calls this week. Gould of Columbia University has studied at least 50 suicide clusters around the US, and in her book, "The Contagion of Suicidal Behavior", says the only connecting threads in each case is that those committing suicide are close in age. There were 44,965 suicide deaths in 2016, according to CDC data. "Those suicide rates have doubled in the last 10 years", said Sharon L'Herrou.

"To be honest I didn't even know what suicide was when I was in middle school", said Monroe. She and her colleagues recently analyzed suicides from 1999 to 2016.

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