Suicide is a sad and often difficult topic. But as suicide rates rise significantly in the U.S., are public health workers ready to address the problem?

Public health leaders are asking that question, and looking to resources to better prepare workers and communities in light of research showing growing suicide rates.

Almost 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016, the most recent year with complete data, according to a June Vital Signs report in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Research in the report showed that suicide rates have increased by more than 30 percent in half of states since 1999.

As alarming as the increasing number of suicides is that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition, according to the report.

Research from a June data brief by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows that suicide rates are also rising more quickly among women than men, but both groups are showing an increase.

Experts say there is no clear reason for the rising trajectories.

To continue reading this story from the August 2018 issue of The Nation’s Health, visit the newspaper online.