We Need to Worry about Suicide Contagion, Too

By Wesley J. Smith

The National Center for Health Statistics has published an alarming report about the increasing suicide rate — which has been increasing at 2 percent per year since 2006. From the report (my emphasis):

This report highlights trends in suicide rates from 1999 through 2018. During this period, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 35%, from 10.5 per 100,000 U.S. standard population in 1999 to 14.2 in 2018. The average annual percentage increase in the national suicide rate increased from approximately 1% per year from 1999 to 2006 to 2% per year from 2006 through 2018.

Our ongoing suicide crisis is part of why President Trump worries correctly that the “cure” for the coronavirus could end up “worse than the disease.” Economic hardship breeds suicide, which can also be a contagion.

Social distancing is saving lives. But jump-starting the economy at the earliest possible time will too.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted  with his permission.