In 2017 (latest results) in the US there were more than 2.8 million deaths, about 70,000 more than in 2016. This partly reflects an aging population; however, suicide, drug ODs, and deaths in younger age groups, especially among the middle-aged, had the largest impact on the change in totals. State-by-state returns are not available. The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that the suicide death rate in 2017 was the highest in 50 years (47,000 in 2017 vs. 45,000 in 2016).

For decades, US life expectancy had increased, as in most well-off countries; but it fell in 2015, stayed even in 2016, and fell again in 2017, to 78.6 years (versus 82.3 in Canada).

As a clinical social worker, do you deal with suicide and suicide prevention? Have you observed an impact on your practice of the increasing number of deaths, especially among those who are not elderly? What are your comments?

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