Sadly, the teen suicide rate is higher than ever, and it is getting worse for girls, too. According to the CDC, the number of suicides among teenagers rose by 75% from 1993 to 2007. Boys commit more suicides than girls, but the number of female suicides is on the rise. According to Scharf, the rise in female suicide attempts is due to the dramatic increase in the use of screens. However, the cause of the higher teen suicide rate is not clear.
While male suicide rates among non-Hispanic non-Hispanics were lower than their white and Hispanic counterparts, black and Hispanic adolescents had higher rates. Non-Hispanic white teens were at the highest risk for suicide, followed by Asian/Pacific Islander, White and Asian/Pacific Islander teenagers. In both groups, the rate of suicide attempts was higher than that of male teenagers. Moreover, teens from racial minorities were more likely to attempt suicide than those from other ethnicities.
As for suicide attempts, the rate of teenage suicide has increased in both boys and girls. While boys are more likely than girls to commit suicide, girls are more likely to think about it and attempt it. Using data from the Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WoDER) program, researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital analyzed suicide rates for teens in the United States from 1975 to 2014. They found that males were more likely to attempt suicide than females.
While the causes of teen suicide remain largely unknown, the rising rates of homicides and self-harm among teenagers represent a public health concern. Social contagion is one hypothesis, although more research is needed to understand what factors are behind the increased risk. Suicide prevention programs should continue to address the underlying causes. The risk of teen suicide is higher than any other age group. But they need to be addressed, as the numbers continue to rise.
While a number of factors contribute to an increased risk of teen suicide, the most important thing parents can do is recognize warning signs. Not all children who display these warning signs will consider suicide, but if you notice any of them, act on it. Even if your child isn’t actually thinking about suicide, the signs are indicative of a deeper problem. Depression in children and teens is usually hidden and presents itself in many ways. These behaviors can range from irritability to self-harm.
While hospitalization is an option for short-term safety, the majority of teens are sent home with a safety plan. Parents should carefully examine the home for things that can easily be accessed by teenagers. Unsecured firearms and drugs are among the most common lethal means. Identifying these means before they become thoughts of suicide will ensure that children do not have the resources to commit the act. They should also warn other families about the risks of suicide.
While the number of teen suicides is declining, the media coverage of the study focused on the overwhelmingly female suicides. Some papers even displayed ominous headlines. While the number of male suicides has decreased, the rise of female suicides has been ignored as a counterbalancing factor. Despite this, media reporting on suicide is generally consistent with accepted guidelines. The media coverage of teen suicide reveals some disturbing trends.
In a recent study, three prominent children’s health organizations declared child mental health a national emergency. The researchers examined emergency room visits for suicide attempts between 2009 and 2021. The numbers show that teen suicides will reach epidemic proportions by 2021. Those who commit suicide are often adolescent boys who feel lonely and depressed, and many also report online schooling as a source of stress. Those with depression are also at a higher risk of suicide than their peers.
Various factors increase the risk of teen suicide, including mental illness, substance abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Other risk factors include feelings of hopelessness and a history of non-lethal self-injury. Fortunately, protective factors can help offset these risks. Family connections and a positive school environment can lessen suicidal thoughts. While the study did not explore the exact causes of these trends, many experts believe social media plays a role.
While a variety of factors play a role in a rising teen suicide rate, the most important factor is school attendance. The number of suicide attempts among 10 to 14-year-olds has more than doubled since 2007. As a result, many educators and parents are realizing the negative effects of forced schooling. One such organization, Bay State Learning Center, was founded by George Popham. The center offers both full-time and part-time enrollment options.