Suicidal thoughts vary by region, according to CDC

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For years, suicide statstics have been measured for every category from what occupation suicidal people have to how often people have suicidal thoughts, but a new study from the Centers for Disease Control separates people who have suicidal thoughts by region.

The study, released Oct. 19, shows that more people in the Midwest and the West have suicidal thoughts than anywhere else in the United States, though Rhode Island has the highest number of actual suicide attempts.

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"This report highlights that we have opportunities to intervene before someone dies by suicide. We can identify risks and take action before a suicide attempt takes place," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, in a statement.

The study was based on surveys that were conducted in 2008 and 2009 on 90,000 adults. The surveys were confidential and did not include members of the military, psychiatric patients or homeless persons.

The CDC said the newest study can be translated into the idea that the areas where people have the most suicidal thoughts may not necessarily be the areas where the most people attempt or follow through with suicide. The CDC also said demographics might be the answer, as females and adolescents have the highest rate of thoughts of suicide while older males actually attempt suicide more than any other group. Because of these types of demographics, a state with a lot of young people and women might look like it has more people thinking about suicide than actually attempting it.

The CDC also said that sparsely populated geographical areas, such as Alaska or Wyoming, might have fewer medical professionals around to save them, making them have higher suicide attempts than more highly populated areas that have more mental health professionals around to save those who are contemplating suicide.

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