Recognizing Suicide’s Warning Signs Could Save Lives

(By Christine Vestal for Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts)

PORTLAND — For Portland resident Stephen Canova, thoughts of suicide came unexpectedly one December night. Then 20, a sophomore in college, unhappy and disconnected from his tightknit home community, he tried to kill himself.

“I had no idea I had it in me,” Canova said. “I don’t remember a lot about that night. But I do know this — when I tried to kill myself, I didn’t want to die. I just wanted the pain to go away. I wanted out.”

Nationwide, more than 47,000 Americans died by suicide last year, according to data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a nearly 5 percent increase over 2016, when close to 45,000 people died. And it’s a continuation of a nearly 20-year rise in suicide rates that, along with drug overdose deaths, has been a leading factor in an ongoing decline in the average American life expectancy.  Continue reading article here…

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