Suicides Dramatically on the Rise and 'More Than a Mental Health Issue', CDC Says

The suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain shocked the entertainment world this week, and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the tragedies were part of a much larger problem.

The CDC released a report on Thursday showing the national suicide rate has risen in various parts of the country significantly across the past three decades, growing by nearly 30 percent from 1999 to 2016.

Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the country. In 2016 alone, almost 45,000 US citizens over the age of 10 died by suicide.

"Unfortunately, our data show that the problem is getting worse," CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a press briefing.

The age group between 45 to 64 year-old saw the largest increase in suicides in the study, which Schuchat hypothesized has a connection to economic struggles.

"Increases in suicide tend to correlate with economic downturns," she said.

She also said the reason for the increase across the board was not due to one single factor, but rather a large collection of them.

"Our data suggests that suicide is more than a mental health issue," she said. "We think that a comprehensive approach to suicide is what's needed. If we only look at this as a mental health issue, we won't make the progress that we need."

Bourdain was found dead in a hotel in France on Friday morning. The 61-year-old's passing was later confirmed to be a suicide by hanging.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN stated in a press release. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

Spade was found dead on Tuesday morning in her New York City apartment. Her husband, Andy Spade, said in a statement that the fashion icon had been battling depression.


"Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years," Andy said. "She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn't her. There were personal demons she was battling."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).