By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of people who died by suicide in the U.S. hit an estimated record 49,000 in 2022, a 2.6% increase over the prior year, government data showed on Thursday.
Over half of all U.S. suicides in 2022 involved firearms, according to the figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Nine in 10 Americans believe America is facing a mental health crisis. The new suicide death data reported by CDC illustrates why,” U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
He added that many people still believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness.
The suicide rate in 2022 — 14.9 deaths for every 100,000 people — is 5% higher than the previous record high of 14.2 deaths for every 100,000 people from 2018.
Suicide deaths rose from 48,183 in 2021 to an estimated 49,449 deaths in 2022, CDC said.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)