Monday, April 5, 2021

Contrary to expectations, the suicide rate in the U.S. decreased in 2020, possibly due to a "we are all in the same boat" effect and an increased appreciation for life

Why Did U.S. Suicides Decrease in 2020? Kathryn Gordon. Psychology Today, Apr 5 2021.

Preliminary 2020 data for U.S. mortality causes were published last week*. A startling statistic revealed an estimated 17.7% increase in deaths from 2019 to 2020. Approximately 344, 323 (10.3%) of those lives were lost directly due to COVID-19. While deaths related to heart disease, unintentional injury, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease reportedly increased from 2019 to 2020, the number of suicides seemed to decrease by 5.6%. The decline in suicides may feel counterintuitive in the context of the rising U.S. suicide rates in recent years (with the exception of a decrease from 2018 to 2019) and the significant social, economic, and political stresses faced by many people in 2020. 

* The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020. Farida B. Ahmad, Robert N. Anderson. JAMA, Mar 31 2021.


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