Ninety-seven Black Cook County residents died by suicide in 2020 — the highest total for a single year in more than a decade.
The alarming rise came as government officials fell short on pledges to improve suicide-prevention efforts that were made afterThe Trace and the Chicago Sun-Times reported last Julyon the rising number of deaths.
In response, Chicago city health officials said they would seek proposals from private agencies to create and implement a suicide-prevention plan. And county officials said they were working on a similar plan and would have it by year’s end.
But neither the city nor the county came through on those promises.
The increase in the number of suicides among Black Cook County residents last year began even before the coronavirus pandemic upended people’s lives. An analysis of the deaths based on Cook County medical examiner’s office data shows that:
- Most of those who died by suicide were men.