The Suicide Crisis: Arizona in the ‘Suicide Belt’

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The number of suicides in America is growing, particularly in the West, but the issue rarely garners attention from most policymakers.

By Mike Maciag | Governing

Year after year, suicide has claimed more lives in Utah to the point where it has emerged as a leading cause of death. More than twice as many Utahns now die by suicide than in traffic accidents, even exceeding deaths from diabetes.

The state lies in the middle of what has become known as the Suicide Belt, a region stretching from Idaho down to Arizona and New Mexico where self-inflicted deaths are more prevalent. Some communities there have experienced sudden spikes in suicide deaths that left officials seeking answers. But despite growing numbers of deaths nationally, it’s an issue that’s still largely off the radar in policy debates

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