Suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States, with an annual death toll that has risen by 60% in recent decades, according to USNews. According to CDC data, the population suicide rate increased by 35% between 1999 and 2018, before declining by 2% in 2019.
And according to a new study, approximately four out of every ten Americans who attempt suicide do not receive mental health care. The study also discovered a “substantial and alarming increase” in attempted suicides.
This emerging after researchers examined federal government examined data from 2008 to 2019 on self-reported suicide attempts in the previous 12 months. They discovered that the incidence rose from 481 to 564 per 100,000 adults. People without insurance and with little involvement in the health-care system were included in the data.
As per this data women, young adults aged 18 to 25, unmarried people, those with less education, and those who regularly used substances such as alcohol or marijuana experienced the greatest increase in suicide attempts over the 11-year period.
Adults who attempted suicide reported needing mental health services but did not receive them, ranging from 34.8 percent (2010 to 2011) to 45.5 percent (2018 to 2019), with no significant change between 2008 and 2019. Data also revealed a significant increase in the number of participants who stated they did not know where to go for treatment, that transportation was an issue, or that services were too far away.
According to Greg Rhee, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and one of the study’s authors, the rate of people who attempted suicide in the previous year and said they weren’t receiving mental health services remained stable at around 40% during the study period.
Survey respondents cited cost, uncertainty about where to find treatment, and a lack of transportation as reasons for not seeking mental health care.
“It’s a huge public health problem” Rhee told The New York Times. “We all know that mental health care in the United States is extremely fragmented and complicated, and that not everyone has equal access to mental health care. As a result, it’s not entirely surprising.”