JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, new data showed that the United States experienced its highest combined rate of death due to suicide, drugs, and alcohol during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the pandemic forced many to stay in doors and away from schools and work facilities.

Suicide, drugs, and alcohol have been a top cause of death for decades. However in 2020, there was a major increase.

According to Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), deaths associated with drugs, alcohol, and suicide took the lives of 186,763 Americans in 2020. Reports also showed that this rate comes from majority of minorities and younger individuals.

According to Dr. J Nadine Garcia, president and CEO of TFAH, many of organizations that they partner with are finding more solutions to help decrease numbers.

“This is an important matter across the nation, and we are looking for beneficial ways for people to get the help that they need in the most quickest way possible,” said Garcia.

Garcia said mental health is something that should be advocated across the nation year-round.

Many mental health facilities provide services for all individuals dealing with any crisis.