The U.S. has seen a jump in suicides in recent years, with rural states being hardest hit. Iowa’s suicide rate increased more than 35 percent between 1999 and 2016.
Mental illness, economic hardship, relationship problems, substance abuse, poor health and other crises increase a person’s risk of suicide.
September’s National Suicide Prevention Month reminds us that we all can do our part to help. One simple way is by sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as other prevention and crisis resources.
Even state government and our local communities have a role to play in ending suicide. Senate Democrats will continue to push for policies and strategies that the Centers for Disease Control says reduce the risk of suicide, including:
- Connecting patients with mental health care, covering mental health services under insurance plans and increasing the number of mental health care providers.
- Strengthening economic stability by providing unemployment benefits and other temporary assistance, while also stimulating the economy and job growth so that Iowans can get ahead.