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More Suicides

It’s not just celebrities; in fact, suicides are on the rise across the country, in 49 of our 50 states. Ben Carey, in the New York Times, traces some of the probable causes, and the correlational statistics attending them.

Carey notes that the “biggest increases have been in states like Oklahoma, Montana and Wyoming where gun ownership, drug use and economic hardship are common. Among middle-aged people across the country, marriage rates have declined, and social isolation has increased.” Carey is careful not to say that more guns, higher drug usage, and increase poverty are the reason, but he notes their increased presence and increased suicide rates.

To add evidence, though, to the impact of the availability of guns on suicides, Carey notes that “a handful of states have passed legislation allowing authorities to seize firearms from people deemed mentally unstable or ‘dangerous.’ In a study of these laws in two states, Indiana and Connecticut, researchers at the University of Indianapolis found that the legislation led to reductions in gun-related suicides, compared to the expected numbers: they were 7.5 percent lower in Indiana in the decade following enactment, and 13.7 percent lower in Connecticut in the year since strict enforcement began.

To read Carey’s full article, see

In addition, we have a number of resources that might be useful in understanding suicide or in dealing with its aftermath.

Fact Sheets:


For a list of treatment providers who work with depression and suicide, check out ABCT’s Find-A-Therapist page here

Related Information

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.