CDC Releases New Statistics

The CDC released a preliminary report regarding changes in suicide rates examined by race, ethnicity, and age. Within the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the authors state that their “…analyses demonstrate disparities in suicide rates among populations based on race and ethnicity and age group in the context of overall suicide rates nearly returning to their 2018 peak after two years of declines.” More than 48,000 Americans died by suicide in 2021.

The CDC also released the 2021 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey: Data Summary and Trends Report today. This survey includes national, state, and local school-based representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students. The purpose is to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth in the United States. The surveys are conducted every two years to determine the prevalence of these health risk behaviors. Behaviors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and those that indicate possible depression and/or suicidal ideation are included.

In 2021, suicide was the second leading cause of death for middle and high school-aged youth (12 – 18). The figures below highlight results from the high school questionnaire focused on mental health and suicidality from the report. Unless noted, the questions are in reference to the previous 12 months prior to the survey.

• More than half of all high school females (57%) reported that they felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row that they stopped doing their usual activities

• 29% experienced poor mental health during the past 30 days

• Almost 1 in 4 (22%) reported seriously considering suicide in the past year

• Females (24%) were twice as likely to make a plan on how to attempt suicide than male students (12%)

• 1 in 10 high school youth attempted suicide one or more times within 12 months of the survey