Suicides surge as societal pressures increase

US suicide rate

Newly released CDC data for 2022 unveils a concerning surge in the US suicide rate.

The 49,449 deaths by suicide mark the highest number recorded in the country’s history.

Of notable concern is the diverse impact across demographics. Adults aged 35 and above witnessed sharp increases, signifying deeper societal challenges.

Women, specifically white females, also experienced a concerning rise in suicide rates.

The gender divide remains stark, with a striking fourfold higher rate of male suicides compared to females.

The study notes that female suicides are more prevalent due to deaths involving drug poisoning.

There is a glimmer of hope in reduced suicide rates among individuals below 35.

However the statistics reveal a disconcerting reality for Native American and Alaska Native communities. The ethnic groups suffer the highest suicide rate, at 26.7 per 100,000.

Impact of societal stressors

Dr Melinda Moore, a clinical psychologist and professor at Eastern Kentucky University, notes that the numbers just scratch the surface.

Moore hints at a larger populace grappling with suicidal thoughts.

“We know that about 12.6 million Americans indicated they had serious thoughts of suicide in 2021 and, I suspect, this number is increasing as well.”

Beyond statistics, the underlying causes of this surge in suicides are complex.

Dr Moore highlights the impact of prolonged societal stressors and the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, isolation and pervasive uncertainty have compounded mental health struggles, exacerbating this crisis.

“Suicide is a problem that is not going to go away without better use of the science we have to assess, treat and manage it, but it must be addressed like the other major leading causes of death and taken seriously by funders, training institutions and systems of care to address it broadly and systemically.”

Monsignor Charles Pope, a Washington DC parish priest, told CNA that he believes the loss of faith in society plays a large part in the record US suicide rate.

“With the biblical narrative gone and the practice of Christian religion dramatically down, there are only ephemeral and worldly goals to seek” Msgr Pope explained.


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Where to find help and support:

  • Anxiety New Zealand 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)
  • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757
  • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Mental Health Foundation 09 623 4812
  • Need to Talk? – Call or text 1737
  • Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254
  • Samaritans – 0800 726 666
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  • Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Web chat, email chat or free text 5626
  • What’s Up – 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
  • Women’s Refuge – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
  • Yellow Brick Road 0800 732 825
  • Youthline – 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat
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News category: World.

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