According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates have dropped in 2020 compared to 2019.
This is despite the fact that the pandemic and the restrictive measures introduced in connection with it have led to an increase in psychological stress in many people, which, as expected, will lead to an increase in the number of suicides, rather than a decrease.
The pandemic has exacerbated various risk factors for suicide. The feeling of loneliness intensified, people began to abuse psychoactive substances against the background of financial difficulties.
However, in 2020, there were about 46,000 suicides in the United States, down 3% from nearly 48,000 in 2019. The number of suicides among men fell by 2% last year and among women by 8%.
Brandon Nichter, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has calculated that one possible explanation for the decline in suicide is that the phenomenon of “unifying force” has been identified, which can occur during a national crisis, when social cohesion increases and people become closer.
New figures from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, according to CNN and UPI, are based on preliminary information. The numbers may ultimately show some variation, for example because sometimes suicidal deaths are reported late.
However, despite the decline, suicide remains the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. The suicide rate in 2020 was lower than in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but higher than in all previous years.