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US Suicide Rate Hit All-Time High in 2022, Nearly 50,000 People Dead

The suicide rate in the United States hit an all-time high in 2022, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data released on Thursday revealed that an estimated 49,449 people died by suicide last year, up from 48,183 in 2021, which is 14.9 deaths for every 100,000 people.

Suicides declined in 2019 and 2020 after the previous record high in 2018. It jumped by 5 percent in 2021 and another 2.6 percent in 2022.

“Mental health has become the defining public health and societal challenge of our time,” said Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in a statement obtained by CBS News. “Far too many people and their families are suffering and feeling alone.”

“These numbers are a sobering reminder of how urgent it is that we further expand access to mental health care, address the root causes of mental health struggles, and recognize the importance of checking on and supporting one another,” Murthy continued.

The most significant increase in suicides was among adults 65 and older, rising 8.1 percent to 10,433 deaths.

CBS reports, “Children and young adults 10 to 24 saw the largest decrease over that time span of any age group, with a decline of 8.4%, to 6,529 suicide deaths, the CDC said. However, a CDC study published in June found that the suicide rate among that age group has trended upwards over the last two decades, rising 62% from 2007 to 2021.”

Data released by the CDC in March, however, revealed one in three high school girls have considered suicide and 57 percent said that they feel “persistently sad or hopeless.”

The suicide rate among women has increased by 3.8 percent, and 2.3 percent for men.

Forbes reports, “In an effort to combat the rising suicide rate, last summer the U.S. government announced it was investing more than $430 million in suicide prevention initiatives. Among the efforts was changing the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from a 10-digit phone number to a three-digit number people could call or text. But a YouGov poll from last month found that after a year with the new three-digit number, only 14% of Americans could recall the number on the spot and just 55% said they’d heard of it at all.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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