Record High Suicide Rate
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The latest statistics from the CDC are disturbing. The US suicide rate hit a record high in 2022. That is why many experts are calling it a “silent public health crisis.” Nearly 50,000 Americans committed suicide last year. That is the highest number on record. To put that in context, that amounts to one suicide every ten minutes.

The suicide rate grew fastest among older Americans. The suicide rate for adults 65 and older grew by 8 percent, and the rate for adults 45-64- years old was up 7 percent. In the past, we have talked about suicides among young people affected by social media and the pandemic. That is still the case, but the rising suicide rate among older Americans is also becoming an issue.

Most Americans (9 in 10) believe our country is facing a mental health crisis. These statistics illustrate that this perception is correct. And there are a multitude of factors ranging from genetics to finances to social isolation. As we have discussed in previous commentaries, the latest reports once again link time spent in social media to suicidal thoughts among teenagers, particularly girls.

It is also fair to say that we don’t know all the reasons for the increase in suicides. But if you link suicide to other “deaths of despair” that include drug overdoses and alcohol abuse, you can see a pattern. In our increasingly secular society, people have less to live for. Suicide becomes an option when life is sterile, superficial, and soulless.

We are living amid a suicide epidemic. Families, churches, and social groups can provide a biblical answer. And each of us should be watching people of any age crying for help and attention.viewpoints new web version

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