Suicide hits at all time high in 2022: CDC

The year 2022 saw the highest number of suicides in U.S. history with 49,449 people taking their own lives, the CDC found.

Suicide rates declined in 2019 and 2020 but climbed by 5 percent in 2021. In 2022, the rate increased by 2.6 percent, according to the CDC's provisional data. Here are three other findings from the CDC's report, released Aug. 10:

  • The two age groups that saw the highest increase in suicide deaths were people 65 and older (8.1 percent) and people ages 45 to 64 (6.6 percent).

  • Suicides in people 25 to 44 grew 0.7 percent and was the second leading cause of death in that age group.

  • Two groups saw a decline in suicide rates:
    • There was an 8.4 percent drop in people ages 10 to 24.
    • American Indians and Alaska Native people saw a drop in suicide rates of 6.1 percent.

A Johns Hopkins University analysis of the preliminary data found the nation's overall gun suicide rate also rose to an all-time high last year. For the first time, Black teens surpassed white teens in gun suicide rates.

"Today's report underscores the depths of the devastating mental health crisis in America. Mental health has become the defining public health and societal challenge of our time. Far too many people and their families are suffering and feeling alone," U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, said in the CDC release. "These numbers are a sobering reminder of how urgent it is that we further expand access to mental healthcare, address the root causes of mental health struggles and recognize the importance of checking on and supporting one another."

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