Teen suicide gets plenty of airtime, but a new US study finds that middle-aged whites are emerging as a high-risk group. Could this be due to the recession?

Before 1999, white middle-aged men were the least likely to kill themselves. However, for the period from 1999 to 2005, the rate for African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans declined or stayed stable while middle-aged whites experienced a significant increase in suicides.

Researcher Holly Wilcox says, “Adolescent, young adult and elderly populations are on our radar, because completed suicides have traditionally been higher in elderly white men and because of high suicide attempt rates and potential years of life lost in young people. We have some school-based and primary care prevention efforts in place to carefully monitor both ends of the age spectrum. I don’t usually worry about the middle-aged group. It’s alarming to me.”

Despite the fact that labor unions have become powerless and both middle class and manufacturing jobs have fled overseas, the government insisted everything was fine economically until now?when it can no longer deny we have problems. But the folks being affected by these problems sure knew it?and tragically, some of them may have given up trying.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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