Highlighting an interview with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), Beacon Health Options posted a blog in September about the potential impact of COVID-19 on suicide rates in the United States.
The blog pointed out that suicide data from 2018 — the most recent we have on suicide trends — can tell us little about anything today, such as a reaction to the pandemic, making it difficult to inform prevention efforts.
Many factors are driving the awareness of mental health in the United States, ranging from the launch of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to the mental health implications of the current COVID-19 public health crisis.
However, we still have a ways to go before mental health is treated equally with physical health.
There’s a lot going on in the world right now that can upset the most balanced of equilibriums.
COVID-19 has caused widespread illness and economic hardship, as our country also goes through ongoing social change and national introspection.
And, then, of course, there’s the election.
People with mental illness have a hard time accessing mental health care, especially compared to physical health care.
In fact, worldwide, more than 70 percent of individuals with mental illness do not receive any mental health treatment.
Peer support specialists — those individuals with lived experience of mental illness and/or substance use disorder (SUD) — have been well-established in behavioral health interventions.
Their shared experience provides the credibility and understanding that help individuals with mental health and SUD challenges on their road to recovery.
When professionals interested in suicide prevention discuss suicide, a lot of data gets tossed around.
The suicide rate in the United States increased by 35 percent from 1999 to 2018. It is the 10th leading cause of death. Approximately 48,000 Americans die by suicide each year. However, there is one statistic that rarely sees the light of day.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that one in four Americans aged 18 to 24 had thoughts of suicide in the prior 30 days has mental health stakeholders reeling: How could the numbers be that high, even during a pandemic?
That question led Beacon Health Options to interview additional experts on suicide prevention.