Study warns of rise in US suicides

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans who committed suicide in 2021 increased to 48,183. (CDC).

It was the highest figure recorded in the country since 2018, when a record 48,344 people committed suicide, according to a report released on Thursday by the US Health and Human Services Department.

Suicides fell for the second year in a row in 2019 and 2020, with 47,511 and 45,979 cases, respectively.

The report did not provide specific reasons for the 2,204 suicides that occurred in 2021, raising the rate to 14.2 per 100,000 citizens.

“Suicide is a complex problem related to multiple risk factors such as relationship, job or school problems, and financial problems, as well as mental illness, substance use, social isolation, historical trauma, barriers to health care, and easy access to lethal means of suicide among persons at risk,” according to the CDC.

The agency urged caution in prevention efforts “as the nation continues to respond to the short- and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The study also looked at those who committed suicide in 2021 by race and ethnicity, revealing that American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest rate of suicide (28.1 per 100,000).

According to the agency, the suicide rate among African Americans aged 10 to 24 years has also “increased significantly,” rising from 8.2 in 2018 to 11.2 in 2021, a 36.6% increase.

White Americans were the only group that saw a decrease in self-harm over the four-year period. According to the report, the suicide rate among them fell by 3.9%, from 18.1 to 17.4 per 100,000.