CDC releases 2022 provisional U.S. suicide estimates

Aug. 17, 2023

On Aug. 10, CDC is released the latest provisional estimates for suicide deaths in the United States in 2022. After declining in 2019 and 2020, suicide deaths increased approximately 5% in the United States in 2021. The provisional estimates released indicate that suicide deaths further increased in 2022, rising from 48,183 deaths in 2021 to an estimated 49,449 deaths in 2022, an increase of approximately 2.6%. However, two groups did see a decline in numbers, American Indian and Alaska Native people (down 6.1%) and people 10-24 years old (down 8.4%).

“Nine in ten Americans believe America is facing a mental health crisis. The new suicide death data reported by CDC illustrates why. One life lost to suicide is one too many. Yet, too many people still believe asking for help is a sign of weakness,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is making unprecedented investments to transform how mental health is understood, accessed and treated as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda. We must continue to eliminate the stigmatization of mental health and make care available to all Americans.”

“The troubling increase in suicides requires immediate action across our society to address the staggering loss of life from tragedies that are preventable,” said CDC’s Chief Medical Officer Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H. “Everyone can play a role in efforts to save lives and reverse the rise in suicide deaths.”

“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,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. “These numbers are a sobering reminder of how urgent it is that we further expand access to mental health care, address the root causes of mental health struggles, and recognize the importance of checking on and supporting one another. If you or a loved one are in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please know that your life matters and that you are not alone. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 for anyone who needs help.”

Recently, CDC announced seven new recipients in CDC’s Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program (CSP), now funding 24 programs to implement and evaluate a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, with a special focus on populations that are disproportionately affected by suicide. CDC’s Suicide Prevention Resource for Action offers states and communities evidence-based strategies to prevent suicide.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline suggest 5 steps to help safeguard people from the risk of suicide and support them when in crisis:

  1. Ask: Asking and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
  2. Help keep them safe: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to lethal means is an important part of suicide prevention.
  3. Be there: Increasing someone’s connectedness to others and limiting their isolation has shown to be a protective factor against suicide.
  4. Help them connect: Individuals that called the 988 Lifeline were significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by the end of calls.
  5. Follow up: After you’ve connected a person experiencing thoughts of suicide with the immediate support systems that they need, following-up with them to see how they’re doing can help increase their feelings of connectedness and support. There’s evidence that even a simple form of reaching out can potentially reduce that person’s risk for suicide.

CDC has the release.

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