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Figures show worrying rise of suicides in Minnesota

Suicides have increased 40 percent since 1999.

In a week that has seen the announcement that Minnesota's Crisis Connection suicide hotline is about to shut down, new figures have revealed a worrying rise in suicide in Minnesota.

Between 1999 and 2016, the number of confirmed annual suicides has increased by 40.6 percent in Minnesota, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This is eighth largest rise out of all states in the country, a list topped by North Dakota which has seen a massive 57.6 percent increase in that time period.

The figures have come out at a time when the issue of suicide is dominating the public conversation, following the high profile deaths of designer Kate Space and TV chef Anthony Bourdain.

In Minnesota, the planned shut down of Crisis Connection on June 30 will leave citizens without a local presence to speak to when they called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

While mental illness is a common factor in some suicides, the CDC says that 54 percent of American residents who killed themselves didn't have a known mental health condition, albeit some may have gone undiagnosed or didn't tell their families about it.

The CDC says 45,000 American residents aged 10 and over killed themselves last year.

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The causes of suicide

The most common factor that contributes to a suicide is relationship problems, which were cited as a cause in 42 percent of suicides.

After that, it's a crisis in the past or upcoming two weeks (29 percent), substance abuse (28 percent), a physical health problem (22 percent), a job/financial problem (16 percent), a criminal/legal problem (9 percent) or a loss of housing (4 percent).

The CDC also found that in instances where a mental health problem is is not diagnosed, 84 percent of those who kill themselves are men. Those without mental health issues are also most likely (55 percent) to use a gun for the deed.

In cases of mental illness, the ratio between male and female victims is 69/31, with a gun used in a lower amount (41 percent) of incidents.

If you or a loved one is experiencing depression or a suicidal crisis, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Also, each Minnesota county has an Adult Mental Health Crisis Response phone line. You can find them here.

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