The federal government says Indiana's suicide rate among its middle-aged population surged nearly 54 percent from 1999 to 2010, giving the state one of the nation's biggest increases.

Thursday's report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Indiana's suicide rate increase among people ages 35 to 64 was nearly twice the national increase of 28 percent.

What drives one to suicide?

The CDC report's 11-year time-frame includes the recession and the mortgage crisis. But researcher Thomas Simon with the CDC's Injury Prevention Center says some of the possible factors behind the increases could include the baby boomer generation's historically higher suicide rate and increasing substance abuse.

In the U.S., suicides are more common than homicides, and at more than 38,300, were the 10th-leading cause of death in the country in 2010, according to the most recent CDC data available.

The most common theme among suicides is hopelessness.

To combat the growing problem, more knowledge and attention is needed. Each of us must be aware of people in our lives who display the symptoms that might lead to suicide.

In addition we need more mental-health programs and alcohol and substance treatment facillities that are available to everyone.

If you are contemplating suicide or want to help someone here are a few numbers to call:

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

• National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

These toll-free crisis hotlines offer 24-hour suicide prevention and support. Your call is free and confidential.