CDC reports 51% increase in teenage suicide attempts during pandemic compared to 4% increase in boys
- New CDC study found weekly emergency room visits for suspected teenage suicide attempts increased 50.6% from 2019 to 2021
- The study also found that among boys of the same age group, there was a 4% increase in suspected suicide attempts during the same period.
- Reported suicide attempts for both sexes increased during the pandemic and increased the longer lockdown and social distancing orders were in place
- The increase in suspected suicide attempts among young people could be attributed to social distancing, which has suppressed in-person connections established at school
- The increase in the number of teenage girls correlates with data showing that women are more likely to disclose suicidal thoughts and seek help for them.
A new study has shown a large increase in emergency room visits for teenage suicide attempts during the pandemic compared to a slight increase in adolescents.
Suicide attempts among girls ages 12 to 17 have increased during the pandemic and have increased lockdown and longer social distancing orders, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among adolescent girls, the average weekly emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts from February 2021 to March 2021 were 50.6% higher than at the same time in 2019, according to the study.
The study indicates that the sharp increase began in May 2020.
A CDC study shows that the average weekly visits of adolescent girls to the emergency room for suspected suicide attempts from February 2021 to March 2021 were 50.6% higher than at the same time in 2019.
A CDC study found suicide attempts among girls ages 12 to 17 increased during the pandemic and increased the longer lockdown and social distancing orders in place.
Emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts include visits for suicide attempts, as well as some non-suicidal self-harm, according to the CDC.
Among boys of the same age group, there was a 4% increase in suspected suicide attempts during the same period compared to 2019, according to the study.
The report’s authors pointed out that despite the findings, the data does not mean that teenage suicide deaths have increased, but rather highlights the mental toll the pandemic has taken on adolescents, especially young women.
“The results of this study suggest more severe distress in young women than what has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention and prevention for this population,” wrote the authors.
The increase in suspected suicide attempts among young people could be attributed to social distancing, which has removed in-person connections made at school with teachers and friends, CNBC.com reported.
The pandemic has also made the search for mental health treatment more difficult, leading to an increase in drug addiction while anxiety over COVID has also skyrocketed, CNBC.com reported.
CDC study shows that among boys in the same age group, there was a 4% increase in suspected suicide attempts in the same period compared to 2019
But the increase in the number of teenage girls correlates with data showing that women are more likely to disclose suicidal thoughts and seek help for them.
“Women are more likely than men to report self-harm or suicide attempts themselves, which can lead to reporting bias and a disproportionate number of women going to the emergency room for these events,” Dr Neha Chaudhary , a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School told ABC News.
Psychiatrists aren’t sure why the pandemic has affected women’s mental health more than men’s, but say it could be a combination of factors.
“Adolescent girls spend more time at home due to the physical distance and distance education allowing them to express their mental distress and to talk more than ever about suicidal thoughts and behaviors”, Dr Christine Yu Moutier , chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention told ABC News.
“(It prompted) adult figures in their lives to take them to (the emergency department),” she added.
The CDC study used national data from the National Emergency Service Syndromic Surveillance Program from 49 states, but not all emergency services reported consistent data and the study did not not break down the figures by race and ethnicity.
The study also noted that the data found in the study may in fact under-represent the actual number of suspected suicide attempts, as Americans were reluctant to go to hospital during the pandemic for fear of contracting COVID.
For confidential support, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.