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Stop Deaths of Despair

Updated: Mar 18

Many people in America's most economically troubled areas are dying premature deaths that could be prevented according to studies by the Brookings Institution. These "deaths of despair" where desperation tracks with trends in premature deaths are higher in America's heartland where manufacturing and mining once boomed.

The deaths are concentrated among those who have less than a college education. They are also higher among poor whites versus poor minorities who have optimism about their future. Less geographic mobility, e.g. moving to places where there is more economic opportunity, appears a factor in the increasing number of such deaths.

Bringing jobs and economic opportunity to these communities in America is a serious task for policy makers, employers, and investors. The required solutions are likely to be structural, e.g. new types of industries or ways of making a living. In the meantime, community service providers have an outsize role to play in helping people improve their well-being since optimism seems to be a key ingredient for keeping despair at bay. Community Help Finder is here to help you or someone you know find these organizations so that together we can help stop deaths of despair.


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