A spike of suicides concentrated around a set of western states has policy makers wondering whats going on. The area of concentration, which stretches from Idaho down through Utah to Arizona and New Mexico, has been dubbed the Suicide Belt. No single cause has been determined, although the reasons are likely to be related to the reasons driving Rising Suicides in the U.S. as a whole. (html)
One theory of the belt is that it is demographic, associated with the middle aged single white males that commit suicide at higher rates. post Another theory is the lack of social structures in the west for single men contributes. (atlantic)
The death rate for poor middle-aged whites is increasing, and sucide is a factor. See Opioids, Alcohol, Suicide.