U.S. Suicide Rates Go Up From 2020 Following 2-Year Decline

Preliminary data show that between 2020 and 2021, the number of suicide deaths in the United States went up after a time when they were going down.

The National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that the estimated number of suicides in 2021 was about 4% higher than in 2020.

The agency said that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 34. Between 1999 and 2018, the number of suicides went up by 35% but they will go down by 5% by 2020.

The study found that the rates had gone up “significantly” among men of different ages. The biggest jump was among men aged 15 to 24 which went up by 8% from 2020.

Michael Lindsey, dean of the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, told NBC News that the higher rate in this group might be because younger men are more likely to do high-risk things.

NBC explained that another reason Lindsey gave was that they have access to “the most lethal means for suicide attempts.”

The news source said that, in general, men are more likely to kill themselves than women, but the high rate of suicide among middle school girls is a worrying trend.

In 2020, 204 young girls, ages 10 to 14, took their own lives, according to statistics. This number rose to 237 in 2021, which is a 15% increase, the biggest of any age group.

U.S. Suicide Rates
U.S. Suicide Rates

The report, though, said that the increase was not statistically important because it was based on a small number of cases.

Julie Cerel, who is in charge of the Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab at the University of Kentucky, told NBC News, “We can’t jump to any conclusions.” “But we need to be looking out for younger girls, as well.”

Even though the rate is going up, the data show that the 4% rise is still 1% less than the peak in 2018, which was 48,344 deaths.

This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that since the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline went nationwide in July, the number of calls had gone up by 45%.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a press release that the change to 988 is a step toward better meeting the needs of people across the country for emergency care.

“988 is more than a number, it’s a message: we’re there for you. The transition to 988 is just the beginning,” Becerra added. “We will continue working towards comprehensive, responsive crisis care services nationwide to save lives.”

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