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Suicide rates jump dramatically across U.S.



A new CDC report released shows the suicide rate nationally has increased 25 percent since 1999.

In Wisconsin, it’s risen 25.8 percent. In Minnesota, where the state’s suicide hotline prepares to shut down, it has risen an incredible 40.6 percent. Iowa rose 36.2 percent.

North Dakota has the highest percent increase (57.6), while Nevada is the lowest (1.0) — the second-lowest is Delaware (5.9). View the entire map here.

Psychologist Claire Lewandowski with Mayo Health System in La Crosse says people in rural areas are affected even worse with suicidal thoughts

“Some of it is connected to people’s livelihoods and fewer economic opportunities in those areas, as well as (less) access to health care in general,” she said.

Lewandowski says not all people who commit suicide have depression. Some just snap after a profound incident. She adds that there are signs to watch for.

“Big changes in jobs, loss of a job, changes in family structure,” she said. “The other things would be high periods of stress — feeling more agitated or having an exacerbation of depression can convey risks.”

Lewandowski says if you are worried about someone, the most important thing to do is be up front and honest in questions and not skirt around the issue.

“Having that conversation, asking openly, ‘Are you thinking about killing yourself? With everything that you’re living with right now, has that though come up?'” she said. “I think that’s an important first step.”

Lewandowski says farmers and middle age men are at a higher risk than others.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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