Minnesota's suicide rate continues to climb, particularly among middle-aged men

Categories: Health
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Claire Slainmedunn
Suicide has long been thought of as a concern among teens and seniors, but today, the Minnesota Department of Health released its latest data on deaths by suicide, and confirmed that Minnesota is no exception to a troubling national trend: More Minnesotans, and particularly middle-aged men, are killing themselves.

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Suicide has been on the rise in Minnesota since 2000, and the latest numbers reveal the highest rate in more than a decade: In 2011, 684 Minnesotans took their own lives. That's 13 percent more people than in 2010, with much of the increase coming among men ages 55-59.

Here's another way of looking at those figures: In 2011, Minnesotans were nearly twice as likely to die by their own hand than in a car accident.

Minnesota's numbers echo national data released in May, which show, in one decade, a 28.4 percent increase in suicide among adults, and a 50 percent increase among men in their 50s.

So, why? Suicide is complex and personal, but experts point to a number of issues among the baby boomer generation -- from great expectations, to changes in marriage habits, to rates of gun ownership -- to try to explain the upward swing.

Concerned by the steady uptick -- and by preliminary 2012 numbers that echo 2011's -- the MDH is upping its suicide prevention efforts. This morning, it announced a plan to partner with the Department of Human Services and other agencies to create the Minnesota Suicide Prevention Planning Task Force, which will focus, in part, on ways to help newly high-risk groups, like middle-aged adults.
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9 comments
gaelkf
gaelkf

Our Banking cartel, and trade policies, have removed stability in the lives of it's citizens, so it is no surprise that middle age men are reflecting the discouragement and disappointment.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

I have a feeling its only going to get worse. 

Septa Penta
Septa Penta

It's all the passive-aggressiveness Minnesotans are known for. It's a nice state, but people don't really care about each other here.

Craig R
Craig R

Life is tough, and the society we live in makes it tougher.

Mary Kuennen
Mary Kuennen

Unfortunately, I don't think the problem is limited to Minnesota. :(

mrgasso
mrgasso

@Septa Penta Whatever Dude! It Takes ONE To Know ONE! But, Your Theory might hold water! Too much in breeding between Scandinavians might be to blame! Top that!

gaelkf
gaelkf

@Marion Dooley don't fold, hang on.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@Marion Dooley Stay strong. Glad you are not. 

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