Suicides surged in 2011 for the steepest increase in more than 13 years, according to a report released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The total of 684 suicides is a 13 percent jump in a single year.
That's a rate a rate of 12.4 per 100,000 residents, reports the Star Tribune, and was the highest since the early 1990s, according to the MDH.
Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said before the media Friday that the numbers show the importance of quickly offering help to people who are struggling.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nationally in 2010, white men had a suicide rate of 34 per 100,000 -almost three times the overall average for Minnesota and the nation, according to the Pioneer Press.
"Minnesota had 368 traffic fatalities in 2011, 684 suicides," Ehlinger said, reports KARE 11.
Minnesota's 2011 rate was up from 11.2 per 100,000 a year earlier.
The Star Tribune says the state rate is higher in men and higher in the 25-to-64 age group. And they say the suicide rate is greater outside the metropolitan area — about 14 people per 100,000 in Greater Minnesota, compared with about 11 in the seven-county metro.
Relatively few resources go to preventing suicide in working age adults and the data show suicide prevention efforts need to be refocused there, according to Minnesota Public Radio, which take s a look at the age and gender most afflicted.