The U.S. suicide rate fell slightly last year, the first annual decline in more than a decade, according to new government data.
It’s a small decrease and the data is preliminary, but the decline is “really exciting,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The fall may be partly due to years of suicide prevention efforts, like increasing mental health screenings, she said. Other factors, like the pre-pandemic economy, might also have played a role, she added.
Experts aren’t sure how the coronavirus will influence this year’s suicide numbers, though American mortality overall is looking far bleaker.