Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts On The Rise Among Young People: 'It's A Critical Public-Health Crisis Right Now'

Depression Bipolar Diseases

Depression Bipolar Diseases

The new research found that the more school-age children and adolescents hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts.

The authors also observed seasonal variations in encounters for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, with the lowest frequency during the summer and the highest in the spring and fall.

"We began to notice in our own children's hospital about ten years ago we were beginning to see an increase in the number of children admitted for suicide ideation or attempt and were surprised to find the increase is nationwide". Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, said that the study is one of only a few to report higher rates of hospitalization for suicide during the academic school year. "Increases were noted across all age groups, with consistent seasonal patterns that persisted over the study period".

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported that there was a drop in cases of adolescent suicide in the 90s and early 2000s.

Plemmons and his colleagues said in the Pediatrics study that it is possible that physicians are paying more attention and sending kids to specialist hospitals because they don't feel equipped to deal with suicidal thinking. Plemmons added, "particularly in a time when mental health resources for children appear to be static, and woefully scarce across the U.S". These work emphasize the growing need for mental health services and training for clinicians at children's hospitals, and suggests that further study of the contribution of school to SI and SA is needed. Examining encounters by age groups, adolescents (ages 15-17) had the greatest average annual increase (0.27 percentage points, 95% CI 0.23-0.30), followed by adolescents ages 12-14 (0.25 percentage points, 95% CI 0.21-0.27, P 0.001 for both). Almost two-thirds of those encounters were girls.

Half of the encounters were children ages 15-17, 37 percent were children ages 12-14, and 12.8 percent were children ages 5-11.

Lead study author, Greg Plemmons, M.D., an associate professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Monroe Carrell Jr. The number of incidents in October was double that as reported in July and the researchers say this could be because of the challenges and stresses of school.

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