CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — According to the CDC roughly 49,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2022. 

“A majority of my patients talk about how stressed they are by politics,” Dr. Kim Penberthy with UVA Health said. 

Penberthy says she sees anywhere between 12 to 20 patients a week. And with the presidential election coming up she says politics has taken a toll on her patients’ mental health, no matter their political affiliation. 

“That’s on both sides, so it’s like there isn’t anyone immune to this,” Penberthy said. 

And she says the stressors continue to grow.

“Each decision that happens in the Supreme Court, different announcements we see in the news, the rhetoric, it makes people very anxious,” Penberthy said. 

And while there are many policies and issues concerning the American public, gun violence continues to be a hot topic. 

According to the National Violent Death Reporting System 59% of violent deaths in 2021, including suicides, homicides, and unintentional firearm death, were by firearm. 

“It’s very scary when someone is threatening to kill themself by using a gun or a weapon like that, because they are going to most likely be successful in completing the suicide,” Penberthy said. 

Penberthy says stronger gun safety and security can reduce those numbers. 

“If people use gun safes and gun locks to store their guns, we have some evidence that that can reduce the rate of suicide death by guns,” Penberthy

While data hasn’t all been confirmed by the CDC for 2023, 49,000 people in the United States died by suicide in 2022. 

The National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 by dialing 988.