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Suicide rate climbs sharply in Kentucky. Who's at risk?

CDC's National Vital Statistics System

With a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control that shows an alarming increase in suicides in the United States and the deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity food writer Anthony Bourdain, conversations on suicide risks and prevention have been brought to the forefront.

Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates have climbed in nearly every U.S. state, the CDC said in a report released Thursday. Kentucky saw the 16th sharpest increase among the states, with a 36.6 percent rise.

In 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 U.S. residents died of suicide, according to the CDC. From 2014-2016, Kentucky's suicide rate was 19.3 people for every 100,000 people, the CDC reported. Nationally, most people took their lives by firearms, with suffocation the second-leading method. Men accounted for about two-thirds of all suicides. The numbers were highest among whites ages 45-65.

The only state that did not see an increase in suicides was Nevada, which saw a 1 percent drop, according to the CDC.

Of the known contributing factors to suicide for people with and without mental health conditions, relationship problems, crises, "problematic substance use" and job or financial problems were among the leading causes, according to the CDC. The center acknowledged that people who have died by suicide may have had multiple contributing circumstances or conditions beyond what was reported.

CDC's National Vital Statistics System

Of the people who died by suicide between 1999 and 2016, 54 percent did not have a known mental health condition according to the CDC.

Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the nation and one of just three causes of death that are increasing in the United States, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. The other rising causes of death are Alzheimer's disease and drug overdoses.

In August 2015, CDC and SAMSHA asked the public to create unique photos/images with 6 words on how to prevent suicide. The responses to the "1 Photo, 6 Words #VetoViolence: Suicide Prevention" request were overwhelming. The National Suicide Lifeli

There are a number of warning signs of someone at risk of suicide, including talking about feelings of hopelessness, talking about being a burden to others and increased use of alcohol or drugs, according to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Providing support services to people who may be considering suicide, reducing access to means of self harm and reaching out and following up with loved ones are ways to help people who are at risk, according to the lifeline.

To reach the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-8255. Deaf or hard of hearing people can call 1-800-799-4889 and Spanish speakers can call 1-888-628-9454.

Learn about common signs that a teen is considering suicide, and what to say to a teen who may be at risk for suicide and ways to keep them safe.