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Loaded, Unlocked Guns Common in American Homes, Study Finds

In half of American homes containing a loaded gun, that gun is kept unsecured and ready for potential use, often with children in the home, new research shows.

The finding is especially troubling given the link between gun accessibility and accidental child deaths, as well as rising rates of gun-related suicides in the United States, researchers said.

"The presence of a firearm in t...

Almost 1 in 3 Americans Know Someone Who's Died From a Drug Overdose

As the opioid addiction crisis continues to lay waste to American life, a new survey finds that nearly a third of U.S. adults now know someone who's died of a drug overdose.

Conducted in the spring of 2023, the survey of 2,300 Americans found 32% saying they'd dealt with the loss of someone they knew due to fatal overdose.

Expanded into the full U.S. population, that's the equivale...

Suicidal Impulses May Peak During Restless Nights

The wee hours of the morning could be the most dangerous for someone on the brink of suicide or homicide, a new study shows.

There's a five-fold greater risk for suicide and an eight-fold greater risk for homicide between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for those awake in the still of the night, resea...

Amsterdam's 'Psychiatric Ambulance' Could Be Advance For Those in Mental Health Crisis

Ambulances meant for people having a mental health crisis could help folks get the care they need with less confrontation and friction, a new study says.

People transported to the hospital by a “psychiatric ambulance” required fewer restraints or coer...

Suicide Rates Among Cancer Patients Are Falling

Even as suicide rates have risen among Americans generally, one group appears to be bucking that trend: People diagnosed with cancer.

Experts are crediting improved access to counseling and other "psychosocial care" with easing the emotional toll of cancer and keeping more patients from making tragic decisions.

Nevertheless, cancer patients still face elevated risks for suicide, no...

Recent Release From Jail a Big Risk Factor for Suicide

Inmates released from jail have a ninefold increased risk of suicide within the following year, compared to people who've never been incarcerated, new research shows.

“Suicide prevention efforts should focus on people who have spent at least one night in jail in the past year,” concluded the team led by Ted Miller, a senior researc...

'Feeling Like a Burden' Can Be Motivator for Suicide in Preteens

Quiet preteens who feel they're a burden on others are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors, a new study reports.

Criticism from parents or caregivers also increased the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, researchers found.

Preteen girls with these traits are at especially high risk, according to the study published recently in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 15, 2024
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  • Black and Native Americans Hit Hardest by 'Deaths of Despair'

    More middle-aged Black and Native Americans are now falling prey to “deaths of despair” than whites, a new study finds.

    These deaths -- from suicide, drug overdose and alcoholic liver disease -- initially had been more common among whites.

    But a new analysis has determined that deaths of despair have skyrocketed for Black and Native Americans over the past decade.

    The deat...

    Suicide Rates Have Doubled in 20 Years Among U.S. College Athletes

    Suicides among U.S. college athletes have doubled over the past two years, according to data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

    Suicide is now the second most common cause of death for college athletes after accidents, results show.

    “Athletes are generally thought of as one of the healthiest populations in our society, yet the pressures of school, internal a...

    Steady Rise in U.S. Suicides Among Adolescents, Teens

    U.S. rates of suicide by all methods rose steadily for adolescents between 1999 and 2020, a new analysis shows.

    During those two decades, over 47,000 Americans between the ages 10 and 19 lost their lives to suicide, the report found, and there have been sharp increases year by year.

    Girls and minority adolescents have charted especially steep increases in suicides, said a team le...

    High Rate of Suicidal Thoughts Among Black Men in Rural America: Study

    Suicidal thoughts and contemplation of death haunt the minds of many rural Black men in the United States, a new study reports.

    One in three rural Black men said they had such dark thoughts within the past two weeks, University of Georgia researchers found.

    These thoughts are driven by childhood trauma, poverty and exposure to racism, all of which take a heavy toll on mental health ...

    ADHD Meds Cut Odds for Early Death, Especially by Overdose

    People diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show a marked decline in their two-year risk for death once they start taking medication, new research shows.

    That was particularly true for deaths due to accidents and drug overdose.

    People taking ADHD drugs also showed no higher...

    Permissive Gun Laws Linked to Higher Suicide Rates

    When states let gun owners carry a firearm openly without a permit, death rates soar.

    Significantly more people died by firearms and suicides in states that have relaxed open carry laws, a nine-year study of death data from all 50 states shows. 

    "Our analysis suggests that because of the change in the law, which provides easier access to firearms, we saw an increased firearm su...

    Stressed Parents Could Mean More Self-Harm by Kids

    Teens have a higher risk of self-injury -- deliberately cutting or burning themselves -- if they have a fraught relationship with a struggling parent, a new study shows.

    Teenagers were nearly five times more likely to self-injure if, when they were 6, their moms and dads reported stress and discomfort in their role as parents, researchers found.

    Teens also had a nearly doubled risk ...

    1 in 5 People Who Attempt Suicide Have No Prior Mental Illness

    One out of every five adults who attempt suicide never met the criteria for a mental illness by the time the attempt happened, new research shows.

    “This finding challenges clinical notions of who is at risk for suicidal behavior and raises questions about the safety of limiting suicide risk screening to psychiatric populations,” concluded a team led by

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 27, 2024
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  • Mental Health Issues a Prime Driver of Deaths for New Moms: Study

    Data from dozens of studies supports the notion that mental health crises are a big factor behind rising rates of maternal deaths during and around pregnancy in the United States.

    “We need to bring this to the attention of the public and policymakers to demand action to address the mental health crisis that is contributing to the demise of mothers in America," said

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 26, 2024
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  • Patients With Depression Face Highest Risk for Suicide in Days After Hospital Discharge

    People treated at psychiatric hospitals are at highest risk of committing suicide immediately after their discharge if they suffer from depression, a new study reports.

    Patients hospitalized for depression are hundreds of times more likely to commit suicide within the first three days of discharge, compared to the suicide rate of the general population, results show.

    “Although we ...

    Access to Opioids Could Be Boosting Suicide Rates

    Increased access to prescription opioids has driven up U.S. suicide rates by making it easier to women to end their lives, a new study claims.

    The study also blames a shrinking federal safety net during tough economic times for rising suicide rates.

    “We contend that the U.S. federal government's weak regulatory oversight of the pharmaceutical industry and tattered social safety ne...

    Cutting U.S. Homelessness by 25% Could Prevent 2,000 Opioid Deaths Each Year

    Reducing homelessness by 25% could save nearly 2,000 lives lost each year to opioid overdoses, a new study estimates.

    It also could save 850 lives from alcohol poisoning and 540 from cocaine overdoses, researchers from the University of Georgia estimate.

    This is the first study to suggest that homelessness contributes to deaths from substance use, the researchers said.

    “One ...

    High School Kids Who Use Weed, Alcohol Face Higher Risks for Suicidal Thoughts

    High school students who smoke, drink or use weed are more likely to be emotionally troubled and have suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

    Teens who turn to nicotine, alcohol or marijuana are more likely to think about suicide, feel depressed or anxious, have psychotic episodes and exhibit inattention or hyperactivity, researchers report Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

    Social Withdrawal in Kids, Teens May Signal Higher Suicide Risk Later: Study

    If your preteen or teen skips school activities and social events, it may be more than the typically moody behavior of adolescence, new research warns.

    Being socially withdrawn and having physical discomforts such as headaches, nausea or stomachaches as a preteen may boost the risk of having suicidal thoughts by age 16, researchers report.

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 26, 2024
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  • FDA Finds No Link to Suicide With Drugs Like Wegovy, Ozempic

    Drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic, which have become a wildly popular way to lose weight or battle diabetes, show no link to suicidal thoughts or actions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

    “Our preliminary evaluation has not found evidence that use of these medicines causes suicidal thoughts or actions,” an FDA

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 12, 2024
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  • Pregnancy-Linked Depression Raises Odds for Suicide Years After Delivery

    Depression that emerges around the time of pregnancy raises a woman's risk for suicide sharply and for many years, new Swedish research shows.

    The study found that a new mom's odds for suicide soars seven-fold in the year after a diagnosis of perinatal depression -- depression that arises just before, during or after a pregnancy.

    The increase in risk isn't limited to the short-term,...

    Study Shows No Sign Ozempic, Wegovy Raise Odds for Suicidal Thoughts

    Folks who take Ozempic or Wegovy for diabetes and weight loss need not worry about a higher risk of suicidal thoughts or feelings while on the medications, a new, large review finds.

    In the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, researchers turned to a database of more than 100 million patient records to measure the risks of suicidal ideation among people using...

    Vietnam War Veterans at No Higher Risk for Suicide: Study

    The Vietnam war was a traumatic event in American history, most especially for those who served.

    However, there's a glimmer of good news from recent research: Suicide rates for Vietnam veterans over the past four decades were no higher than that of the general population.

    Still, between 1979 and 2019 -- the period covered by the new study -- almost 100,000 Vietnam War vets did lose ...

    Suicide Risk May Fluctuate With the Menstrual Cycle

    Most women know that their menstrual cycle can affect their mood. Now, new research suggests suicidal thoughts may peak at certain points during the monthly cycle.

    The finding could have an upside, helping people pinpoint when they might be most vulnerable to suicide, so they can better prevent it.

    “As clinicians, we feel responsible for keeping our patients safe from a suicide at...

    Suicide Rates Have Risen Steadily for Black Girls and Women

    Suicide rates for Black women and girls ages 15 to 24 have more than doubled over the past two decades, a new report finds.

    “Suicides are rapidly increasingly among young, Black females in the U.S.,” said study first author Victoria Joseph, an analyst in the department of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Pu...

    Opioid Crisis May Be Driving Surge in Youth Suicides

    Suicide rates for Americans under the age of 18 are rising at unprecedented rates, and a new report points to a likely culprit: The ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse.

    It's not that more kids and teens became abusers of opioids, it's that conditions in their environments worsened due to the crisis, say a team led by David Powel...

    U.S. Gun Suicides Keep Rising; Now Make Up Half of All Suicides

    The latest national data show that when it comes to suicide, Americans are increasingly resorting to firearms as their method of choice.

    An analysis by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that of the nearly 50,000 suicides recorded in the United States in 2022, more than half (27,000) involved a gun.

    Gun-related suicides have been on the rise ove...

    U.S. Suicide Numbers Hit New Record High in 2022

    U.S. suicide numbers reached a grim new high in 2022.

    The increase was most acute among women over the age of 24, according to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Overall, almost 49,500 people lost their lives to suicide in 2022, the report found, a 3% rise from the nearly 48,200 deaths recorded in 2021.

    That makes the 2022 death toll fro...

    Teens With Multiple Concussions Face Higher Risk of Suicidal Thoughts

    A year after suffering a concussion, teens, especially boys, are more likely than their peers to think about, plan and even attempt suicide, new research finds.

    With more concussions, the risk grows.

    Teen boys who reported two or more concussions in the past year were two times more likely to report a suicide attempt than those who had one concussion. Girls' odds for suicidal behavi...

    As Suicide Rates Climb, Older Men Are Most Vulnerable

    WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2023 (Healthday News) -- As U.S. suicide rates continue to rise, new government data shows older men have become the most susceptible.

    In a report published Wednesday, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found there were about 30 suicide deaths for every 100,000 men ag...

    U.S. Men Are Dying Much Earlier Than Women, as Death 'Gender Gap' Widens

    The gap in life expectancy between American men and women is now the biggest it has been since the mid-1990s -- almost six years.

    The pandemic and opioid overdoses are key factors in the gender difference in longevity, said researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    "There's been a lot of research int...

    Those Most in Need of the 988 Lifeline Are Aware of It, Survey Shows

    More than a year after its launch, public awareness of the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline remains moderate, a new survey found.

    However, awareness is highest among people who need it most -- those in serious psychological distress.

    Survey participants with serious distress were 45% more likely to have heard of 988 than those with no distress. Further, those in moderate p...

    Police Often Have Unlocked Guns at Home, Raising Suicide Risk

    Many law enforcement officers own firearms but fail to store them properly, claims a study that points to an increased risk of suicide.

    Police officers are also more likely to have suicidal thoughts, according to research from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

    “Historically, law enforcement officers have had higher rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors,” said study fi...

    Largest-Ever Study of Suicide Genetics Gives Clues to Who's at Risk

    New research has discovered 12 gene variants that may be tied to an increased risk of attempting suicide.

    These genes also may have links with physical and mental health woes, including chronic pain, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), lung conditions and heart disease.

    The researchers hope this finding, published online Oct. 1 in the

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 4, 2023
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  • Megan Thee Stallion Urges Fans to 'Check on Friends' for Mental Health

    Megan Thee Stallion is urging you to check on your friends.

    The rapper, whose offstage name is Megan Pete, is part of a new public service announcement called Seize the Awkward, a national campaign to encourage young people to talk to friends about mental health.

    “It's important that we regularly check in on our friends a...

    Biden Administration Gives Funding Boost to Help Curb Suicides

    The Biden administration is allocating $232.2 million in grants to help stem suicides and improve behavioral health care for at-risk groups.

    Suicide is happening at an “alarming” rate, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    Last year alone, nearly 50,000 Americans died by suicide, up 2.6% from 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control ...

    Nurses, Health Care Staff Face Higher Suicide Risks

    Nurses, health technicians and health care support workers face a higher risk of suicide than the general U.S. population does, an alarming new study shows.

    Researchers pointed out these workers have to perform stressful tasks while caring for ill patients and managing heavy workloads, with little control over patient outcomes.

    Not only that, but “health care workers' relationshi...

    Could Wildfire Smoke Raise Rural Suicide Rates?

    As this summer has shown, the massive smoke plumes generated by wildfires can dirty the air of regions many miles away. Now a new study is raising the question of whether that pollution is contributing to suicides in rural America.

    Researchers found a correlation between air pollution from "drifting" wildfire smoke and a rise in U.S. counties' suicide rates. The connection was not seen ev...

    Americans Who Are Deaf Can Now Use 988 Suicide Helpline

    The U.S. government's 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is expanding its reach to help more people.

    The crisis line has now launched services in American Sign Language (ASL) to help callers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    The ASL services were launched on Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    “Individuals across America who use ASL as their...

    Gun Suicides Keep Rising Among U.S. Youth

    Suicides by Americans aged 10 to 24 are continuing to climb and guns are increasingly the method of choice in these tragedies, a new report finds.

    Easy access to firearms can mean suicide is often impulsively done and fatal, the researchers pointed out.

    "Prior research has identified the correlation between readily accessible guns in the home and suicide," wrote a team led by

    Suicides Among U.S. Veterans Jumped 10-Fold in Decades After 9/11

    Suicide has become an urgent issue among American military veterans, with rates increasing by more than 10 times in nearly two decades, a new study reveals.

    "Suicide rates for post-9/11 veterans have steadily increased over the last 15 years and at a much faster pace than the total U.S. population, and post-9/11 veterans with TBI [traumatic brain injuries] have a significantly higher suic...

    ERs Are Flooded With Kids in Mental Health Crisis, U.S. Doctors' Groups Warn

    America's emergency rooms are being flooded by children suffering from psychiatric emergencies like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts or attempts, a new joint report from three leading medical associations warns.

    This surge in pediatric mental health emergencies has overwhelmed ERs in the United States, says the joint paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American ...

    In America's Prisons, Suicide Risk Rises Along With Temperatures

    Punishing heat is a fact of life inside America's prisons without air conditioning, and it is taking a serious toll on prisoners' mental health.

    When the outside thermometer hits 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, a new study shows that prison suicide risk jumps 36%, in comparison to when temperatures are in the 60s.

    The finding comes from a look at the Louisiana prison system, one of ...

    Suicide Rates Continue to Rise Among Americans

    The mental health crisis hitting Americans shows no sign of abating, with provisional numbers for 2022 showing suicides rose by another 2.6% last year.

    That follows on an overall 5% increase in suicides in 2021, noted officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which on Thursday released the

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 10, 2023
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  • People With Autism Face Much Higher Risk for Self-Harm, Suicide

    People with autism are over three times more likely than their peers without the developmental disorder to experience self-injury, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, or death by suicide, new research shows.

    “In general, I think there needs to be more support for individuals with autism. And this shows that there are life-threatening consequences in terms of suicide and self-harm,” s...

    Bipolar Disorder Ups Early Death Risk by Sixfold

    People who have bipolar disorder may have a higher risk of dying early, according to new research.

    Finnish investigators say this is due to a combination of external causes -- such as suicide, accidents and violence -- and physical health issues, with alcohol a big contributor.

    Targeting interventions to substance abuse will likely reduce premature deaths owing to both external and...

    How Much of a Difference Is 988 Making a Year After Its Launch?

    The national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has hit its one-year anniversary, and it appears that the public is increasingly turning to the number in times of darkness.

    The most recent statistics show a substantial increase in call volume, with nearly 160,000 more crisis calls, chats and texts in May 2023 compared to May 2022 -- two months before 988's activation on July 16.

    Compared...

    Risk of Suicidal Thoughts With Popular Weight-Loss Drugs Being Investigated by European Regulators

    The European Medicines Agency is investigating concerns that popular weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Saxenda may be linked to suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self-harm.

    Three case reports from Iceland spurred the agency's safety committee to conduct a medication review, CNN reported Monday. The EMA is Europe's equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The...