Emergency room visits for teenage suicide attempts have skyrocketed this summer and winter, especially among girls, possibly in connection with the United States’ fight against Covid-19, news revealed on Friday. data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There was a 22.3% increase in emergency room trips for potential suicides of children aged 12 to 17 in the summer of 2020 compared to 2019, according to results published in the “Morbidity Weekly Report and mortality “from CDC.
This trend appears to continue in this recently ended academic year, with visits increasing 39.1% this winter from the previous winter, according to the report.
The data was particularly alarming among girls aged 12 to 17. Between February 21 and March 20 of this year, emergency room visits for potential suicide attempts increased by 50.6% compared to the same period in 2019, the data showed.
And they went to the emergency room for suspected suicide attempts 26.2% more often between July 26 and August 22 than at the same time in 2019, CDC researchers said.
The CDC’s analysis was derived from data collected by the National Syndromic Surveillance Program.
“Young people may be a high-risk group as they may have been particularly affected by mitigation measures, such as physical distancing (including a lack of connection with schools, teachers and peers); barriers to mental health treatment; increased substance use; and anxiety about family health and economic issues, all of which are risk factors for suicide, ”according to the report.
The researchers, however, cautioned against drawing direct lines between these peaks and the conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted nearly every aspect of life in the United States from mid- last march.
An increased appreciation of mental health in 2020 could have prompted parents to seek mental health treatment for their children, they said.
“Conversely, by spending more time at home with young people, adults may have become more aware of suicidal thoughts and behavior, and therefore more likely to take their children to the emergency room,” according to the report.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME at 741741, or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.