Skip to main content

Suicides in the USA

Suicides among midde-aged Americans has been on the rise in the United States. More people die from suicides than vehicle accidents :
In 2010, an average of nearly 18 out of every 100,000 people aged 35-64 died from suicide - four more than a decade earlier. In 2010, motor vehicle accidents killed 33,687 people, while 38,364 died from suicide that year, according to the CDC, the government agency tasked with providing research and recommendations on US health and safety.

Among non-Hispanic whites and Native Americans, annual suicide rates leaped 40 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Nearly three times as many men as women in this age group killed themselves: around 27 men compared to eight women per 100,000 in 2010. And the CDC found that, while most suicides were committed with guns, the number of people dying from suffocation and hanging rose the fastest - by more than 80 percent - over the last decade.

Experts are not certain why suicide rates are increasing so markedly among middle-aged adults, but suggested that causes could include the economic crisis of recent years. Suicides have historically spiked in times of financial hardship. The authors also noted that the increase in suicides among baby boomers in their 50s may be a quirk of their generation, as they also showed unusually high rates of suicide in their teenage years.
This pattern is typical of most western countries actually. I was recently looking at UK data on suicides and it seemed to show the critical age is between 40 and 50 years. I was quite struck by that. More suicides are committed by that age group than any other group per capita (accounting for population differences). I think a key factor is loneliness. There's need for the western churches to reconsider how it seeks the lost and emphasise more a gospel that not only rescues sinners from sin but brings them into a family with a true sense of belonging. We have previously touched on this topic here.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Christian and Technology, A Review

The central argument of John Fresko’s  The Christian  and Technology  is that technology is a double-edged sword that requires cautious and intentional use. Continuous uncritical use of technology erodes hunger for the Word of God, makes us self-centred and turns our useful devices into idols. The book intends to promote proper use of technology by encouraging us to dig into our hearts to see whether Christ so fills us that nothing can drag us away from him. Fresko believes there is no need for us to flee from technology or become Luddites because technology is value neutral. It is not in of itself good or bad. Instead, we must focus on carefully evaluating how we think about and use technology. This necessarily requires us  not only to understand the relevant technology, but also understand ourselves. A key part of this is recognising that we struggle with technology because we lack contentment in Christ. The book explores explores six different technologies. I think the most fascina

Today I Learned

The puritan John Miles (1621-1683)   founded the first Baptist Church in Wales. He then emigrated to America shortly after the Act of Uniformity (1662) when 2,000 ministers were ejected from the Established Church. With a large proportion of his church, Miles settled at a new Swansea, about ten miles from Providence in Rhode Island. The church grew in face of persistent opposition.   Once, when Miles was brought before the  magistrates on some charge, he asked for a Bible. He then quoted Job 19:28 - Ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me ? (KJV). He stopped there and sat down. The court was so convicted by the content and context of the passage that their cruelty gave way to kindness. ( Source : An Introduction to the Baptists, Erroll Hulse)  

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she