The National Center for Health Statistics said last week that suicide rates in the U.S. rose 4 percent in 2021 after falling for the two previous years while politicians were locking down Americans to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Suicide became the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. and accounts for more than 14 deaths for every 100,000 people. Men are particularly impacted by suicides and saw over 22 deaths per 100,000, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
“People are in pain and their symptoms are getting worse and worse,” Amanda Fialk, a chief clinical officer at The Dorm, a treatment center, told the paper.
Sally Curtin, statistician and co-author of the NCHS report, told Time magazine that the increasing rates could point to the return of old stressors that were “suppressed by the unusual circumstances of lockdowns and remote schooling and work.”
“There is a little bit of good news in that the rates had been declining,” she said. “But now there are nearly across-the-board increases.”
A total of 48,183 people died by suicide in 2021, which marked the highest number since 2018, when 48,344 Americans killed themselves.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the mental health impact that COVID-19 lockdowns had on the public. (See “AS FORECAST: COVID WAR PUSHED UP SUICIDE RATES” 14 Feb 2023 and “LOCKDOWN LUNACY CREATING “MENTAL HEALTH PANDEMIC” 26 Jan 2021.)
ABC News cited the Kaiser Family Foundation in its report that said four in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. The number marks a significant jump from January 2019 to June 2019 when just one in 10 adults reported similar symptoms.
The report also cited a 2021 Boston College study that found rates of depression and anxiety among those aged 18 to 29 rose 61 percent and 65 percent, respectively during the first year of COVID lockdowns.
Indeed, federal data showed adolescent girls were most likely to arrive at an emergency room with suicidal thoughts, according to The WSJ report. The paper said the 988 National Suicide Prevention number, 988, received more than 2.1 million calls and texts in 2022, which marked a significant increase from the 892,000 the year before.