Suicide Attempts Have Risen Among Kids And Teens

The numbers are alarming

    There is an alarming new study that shows suicide attempts are rising among school-aged kids. Suicidal thoughts are also rising. The study, published by Pediatrics, compiled data from 31 children’s hospitals around the country. Basing the data off emergency room visits for suicidal thoughts or attempts, the rise is alarming; between 2008 and 2015, the numbers more than doubled. Rising from 0.66 percent in 2008 to 1.82 percent in 2015.

    While the percentages have risen the most among 15 to 17 year olds, there is also a spike among 12 to 14 year olds. Over 110,000 suicide-related visits were included in the study, and nearly two-thirds of them are girls. And while the numbers are up across the board, numbers for girls are spiking the most.

    This is happening everywhere

    “We were seeing more kids coming in and being admitted with these issues, and we decided to look at what was going on nationwide,” Dr. Gregory Plemmons, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, and lead author of the study, tells Health.

    “We were a little surprised to see that this is not just a local trend, but it’s something that’s happening all over the country,” he adds.

    The authors suggest that there are multiple factors at play in the rising numbers. They cite things like the decreasing age of puberty in girls, antidepressant use, and the 2008 financial crisis as potential reasons.

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