The Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families in the 15 counties of NW PA. Because of this focus, we want to further the CDC’s distribution of data included in the December 1, 2023 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). We encourage everyone to review this information, share it within personal and professional networks, and get involved in stigma-reduction and suicide prevention efforts in their communities.
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CDC Notes from the Field: Monthly/Quarterly Firearm Suicide Rates, by Race and Ethnicity
High firearm suicide rates continue to devastate families and communities in the United States. Every suicide is tragic. It’s important to remember that suicide is preventable, and we can each learn the warning signs and promote help-seeking behaviors.
The U.S firearm suicide rate increased 11% from 2019 to 2022, according to a new MMWR report. The authors examined 2019–2021 National Vital Statistics System mortality final data and provisional 2022 to assess annual and monthly changes in firearm suicide rates by race and ethnicity and found that:
- Overall, the highest firearm suicide rates were observed among non-Hispanic White people in 2022, followed closely by non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people.
- Every racial and ethnic group saw increases in firearm suicide rates from 2019 to 2022.
- Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people had the largest increase of 66%, from 6.4 in 2019 to 10.6 in 2022.
- Non-Hispanic Black people had a rate increase of 42% from 3.8 in 2019 to 5.3 in 2022.
- Hispanic people had a rate increase of 28% from 2.5 in 2019 to 3.3 in 2022.
- Non-Hispanic White people had the highest overall rates but lowest increase of 9% from 10.2 in 2019 to 11.1 in 2022.
- Non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander people had a 10% rate increase from 1.7 in 2019 to 1.9 in 2022.
Ready to become part of the solution and learn how to talk about suicide and mental health? Register now for our upcoming QPR Gatekeeper and CALM training sessions.
Looking to Get Involved?
Whether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at theresilientveteran.org.
Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.