WASHINGTON: The US suicide rate rose in 2021, particularly among young men, according to official data out on Friday -- an increase that ends a two-year-decline. The number of suicides rose from around 46,000 in 2020 to 47,650 in 2021, according to preliminary figures released by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The age-adjusted suicide rate per 100,000 people grew from 13.5 in 2020 to 14 last year. The most significant increase was seen among young boys and men between the ages of 15 and 24, where the rate rose eight percent.
In 2000, after a decade of decline, the United States recorded a recent low of 10 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people. “One of the things that may have contributed to the decrease in the 1990s was the advent of medications that help reduce risk for suicide,” Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, told AFP.
The rate then started growing -- potentially because of new warning labels attached to antidepressants, according to Harkavy-Friedman -- until by 2018 it was 35 percent over 2000 levels.