The latest U.S. suicide rates released Thursday were nothing new. And that's the problem. Despite being another year removed from the Great Recession, which some researchers blamed in part for a recent spike in such deaths, the trend of increased suicides is only escalating.

The 15.4-deaths-per-100,000-people rate from 2014 to 2016 marked the highest three-year rate in an unprecedented 18-year climb, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over that  period; half those states have experienced increases beyond 30 percent.

More bluntly, nearly 45,000 people in the U.S. killed themselves last year, more than the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Oregon's 2014-2016 rate of 21.1-per-100,000 exceeds the national average, as does its 1999-2016 rate (28.2 percent  to 25.4).

Nationally, this isn't a trend, it's a crisis.

Three years have passed since Princeton University economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case discovered this crisis. Now, on every level, it's time to intensify efforts to prevent such deaths. Deaton and Case leaned heavily on economic and education theories, suggesting that the decline of the working class has robbed many people of a sense of meaning, particularly those who never advanced beyond a high school education.

But the deaths last week of fashion designer Kate Spade and writer/celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain remind us that suicides reach into the highest socioeconomic stratospheres.

Since the escalation of suicide deaths, at least two federal efforts have been launched to develop a national strategy for preventing suicides, one in 2001 and one in 2012. The latter, led by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, detailed 13 goals and 60 objectives for reducing suicides over the next decade.

That reduction isn't happening; the problem is only getting worse. On a national level, more needs to be done to reverse the trend. On a personal level, people with suicidal thoughts need to reach out to those who can help, including the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Because all lives matter.