The Suicide Epidemic Reviews

The Suicide Epidemic: ISBN 978-1-68282-741-3 / eBook: 978-1-68282-742-0
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2019

An abbreviated but data-packed overview of a burgeoning health crisis.

The numbers are appalling—over 47,000 suicides in the U.S. in 2017—and it's growing worse. Through both statistics and anecdotes, this slim volume hammers home the dramatic rise in U.S. suicide rates across all demographic groups, regions, ages, and occupations. The causes are multifarious and not well understood: They range from immediate contributors like easy access to means; proximate factors such as bullying and mental illness; and broader cultural trends, including increasing economic anxiety and social isolation. An entire chapter zeroes in on teen suicides; another examines the often overlooked impacts (sometimes life-threatening) on the bereaved. The work concludes with a brief discussion of prevention and postvention, with heavy emphasis on diagnostic rubrics. The writing style is dry and data intensive, aimed more at report writers than at those seeking emotional help or closure. Still, the inclusion of affecting personal stories and tangential boxed inserts does help break the numbing effect of the constant barrage of dire statistics. All examples and citations are recent, most from the last two years. The phrase “commit suicide” or variations are used multiple times. Color photographs show individuals of various ages and ethnicities. Best for libraries updating resources on an issue that (alas!) isn't going away anytime soon. (source notes, appendices, resources, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 12-16)