It's one of the leading causes of death in America, and it appears it's happening more frequently among one specific age group. Rates of people dying by suicide, both nationwide, and here in New York are up, especially among middle-age adults.
Suicide rates for women, ages 45 to 64, increased nearly 60%, between 2000 and 2016. And suicide deaths among men in that age group, over that same time period, increased nearly 37%.
Erie County is actually seeing a greater increase in middle age men dying by suicide.
Wednesday Night, ABC premiered a new primetime show, A Million Little Things. The plot of the show revolves around a friend who dies by suicide.
Something the workers at the Erie County Crisis Service Center are paying attention to.
“As suicide prevention experts we have concern,” said Jessica Pirro, the CEO of Crisis Services. She worries the show could be problematic to those thinking about suicide.
“We have to be thoughtful that people watching this will be triggered. They will be exposed to some challenging thoughts and we need to make sure that with the education and the entertainment of the show that people are being taken care of in our community,” said Pirro.
Their thoughts about this new show aren't completely negative. Crisis Services especially hopes the show encourages more men, to open up about mental health issues.
“That is actually the highest risk group right now. Men age 25 to 45-50,” said Celia Spacone with Crisis Services.
The CDC believes some reasons for the increase in deaths by suicide among middle-age men are because of health issues, social isolation or financial stress.
“The conversation in this program seems to be shaped around young men who don't want to talk about their issues, don't want to ask for help, don't want to admit it,” added Spacone.
A Million Little Things may bring up an important conversation. But, the people who deal with preventing suicide on a daily basis, want the conversation to be a healthy one.
Remember, help is only a phone call away. You can call crisis services anytime day or night at 716-831-3131.