BY MIKE STOBBE: Complete Post through this link…
About 49,500 people took their own lives last year in the U.S., the highest number ever, according to new government data posted Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posted the numbers, has not yet calculated a suicide rate for the year, but available data suggests suicides are more common in the U.S. than at any time since the dawn of World War II.“There’s something wrong. The number should not be going up,” said Christina Wilbur, a 45-year-old Florida woman whose son shot himself to death last year.
Experts caution that suicide is complicated, and that recent increases might be driven by a range of factors, including higher rates of depression and limited availability of mental health services.But a main driver is the growing availability of guns, said Jill Harkavy-Friedman, senior vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.Suicide attempts involving guns end in death far more often than those with other means, and gun sales have boomed — placing firearms in more and more homes.