Following a Two-Year Decline, Suicide Rates Rose Again in 2021

March 03, 2023

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The New York Times

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that suicide rates rose in 2021 after a two-year decline, especially among people of color and young Americans. Between 2018 and 2021, suicide rates increased by 19.2 percent among Black people and by 5 percent among young adults ages 25 to 44, with the highest increases among Black, Hispanic, multiracial, and American Indian or Alaska Native people in that age group. At the same time, suicide rates declined by 3.9 percent among non-Hispanic White people and by 12.4 percent among individuals 45 to 64. The study did not look at reasons for these racial/ethnic and age differences in suicide rates, but CDC lead behavioral scientist Deborah Stone said financial stress, social isolation, substance misuse, barriers to health care, and access to lethal means could be factors. Suicide rates appear to be rising in communities hit hardest by the pandemic, which may be experiencing cumulative stress. Experts note that collective emergencies often bring a temporary decrease in suicide rates followed by a rebound. Stone said, “In the longer-term, some populations hardest hit by the crisis will continue to struggle with the impact of the crisis, which may have compounded pre-existing inequalities.”

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