Giving Compass' Take:
- The suicide rate for women has increased by four percent from 2021 to 2022, while it only increased by two percent for men that same year.
- Psychologists think the factors contributing to these increased rates are the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing financial strains, and a deluge of caretaking obligations. What mental health services exist to support individuals in the wake of the pandemic?
- Read more about America's suicide rate.
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The total number of suicides reached nearly 50,000 in 2022 — the highest number recorded in United States history, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data published this week. Even though the total number of men who committed suicide outpaced women 4 to 1 in 2022, the suicide rate for women increased twice as much as men from 2021 to 2022. The suicide rate of women increased 4 percent from 2021; for men, it increased by 2 percent.
All age groups for women 25 and older experienced an increase in suicides, with a significant increase for those between 25 and 34. In the 10 to 14 age group, the suicide rate for men declined 13 percent and declined 22 percent for women; in the 15 to 24 age group, the rate for men decreased 9 percent and decreased 3 percent for women; for the 25 to 34 age group, the rate for men decreased 4 percent and increased 7 percent for women; for the 35 to 44 age group, the rate for men increased 3 percent and increased 5 percent for women; for the 45 to 54 age group, the rate for men increased 6 percent and increased 2 percent for women; for the 55 to 64 age group, the rate for men increased 10 percent and increased 5 percent for women; for the 65 to 74 age group, the rate for men increased 3 percent and increased 7 percent for women; and for the 75 and older age group, the rate for men increased 4 percent and increased 9 percent for women.
The CDC also noted that the number of women suicides is likely higher than reported because their deaths more frequently involve drug poisonings, which take longer to identify as suicides.
The 19th spoke to psychologists, social workers and mental health experts to discuss possible factors contributing to increased suicide rates among women. Many pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing financial strains and a deluge of caretaking obligations.
Ashley Rondini, an associate professor of sociology at Franklin & Marshall College, said that these patterns are consistent with increases in suicide rates for women globally since the start of the pandemic.
“A combination of factors such as intensified caretaking responsibilities, extended periods of financial instability and increased vulnerability to domestic violence in the context of social isolation in the home, has had deleterious collective impacts on women’s mental health and vulnerability to depression over the past several years,” Rondini said.
Read the full article about suicide rates for women by Mariel Padilla at The19th.