On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that a record-high number of almost 50,000 Americans committed suicide in 2022.
As ABC News reports, the total number of 49,449 victims marks an increase of 2.6 percent from the 2021 total, which set the previous record at 48,183. The largest increase was among adults over the age of 65, where suicides rose by 8.5 percent from 2021; the second-highest increase was among those between the ages of 45 and 64, which rose by 6.6 percent from 2021.
Both genders saw a rise in suicides between 2021 and 2022, with the rate among men increasing by 2.3 percent and among women by 2.8 percent. There were also increases among almost every ethnic group, with the exceptions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The largest increase for any ethnic group was Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, with a staggering increase of 15.9 percent in 2022.
The one piece of good news from the report found that, among teenagers and young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, suicides actually decreased by about 8.4 percent.
The CDC noted that, since 2006, the number of suicides has been steadily increasing, with the exceptions being the years 2019 and 2020.
“The troubling increase in suicides requires immediate action across our society to address the staggering loss of life from tragedies that are preventable,” said Dr. Debra Houry, chief medical officer for the CDC, in a press release. “Everyone can play a role in efforts to save lives and reverse the rise in suicide deaths.”
The agency has encouraged those in need to utilize the Suicide and Crisis lifeline, which runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, by dialing 988.