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- Suicides in the 10-to-24 age bracket decreased by 8.4 percent.
- Youth mental health shows promising signs of improvement.
- The decline counters recent trends.
A promising trend for young Americans
The past year brought encouraging news regarding youth mental health. According to provisional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicides among 10-to-24-year-olds experienced an 8.4 percent decline.
This significant decrease among young individuals is noteworthy, especially when considering past statistics. Previous data had shown increases, with suicides among 15-to-19-year-olds jumping from 8.4 per 100,000 during 2012-2014 to 10.8 per 100,000 in 2018-2020. The CDC had also reported an uptick in the number of teen girls expressing suicidal thoughts.
Yet, the recent data brings a glimmer of hope. In 2021, the number of suicides in the 10-to-24 age group was 7,126. In 2022 this number dropped to 6,529, marking a notable improvement.
Examining potential factors
While it's early to pinpoint the exact reasons for the decline, the data counters some prevalent assumptions. Notably, the internet and social media, often blamed for mental health challenges in youth, might not be the primary culprits. The age groups showing a decline in suicides are among the heaviest users of these platforms.