Teenagers are at a heightened risk of suicide. This resource addresses some of the facts.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24.
- Over half of all youth who suffer from depression will attempt suicide at least once, and more than seven percent of these will die as a result.
- Four times as many men commit suicide than women. Young women attempt suicide three times more frequently than young men.
- Fifty-three percent of young people who commit suicide abuse substances like alcohol or drugs.
- Firearms are used in more than half of all youth suicides.
- Depression increases the risk of a first suicide attempt by at least 14-fold.
A credited source indicate huge increase in suicides among adults, and thoughts of suicides have increased in numbers among all groups. Adults who reported thoughts of suicides are in greater numbers than teens, but the numbers of teens who committed suicides is far larger than those of the adults, and have increased from last years in numbers of teens who died of suicides.
The study found 118,363 such encounters at the children’s hospitals during that period. The annual rate of all encounters identified as “suicidality or self-harm” increased from 0.67 percent in 2008 to 1.79 percent in 2015. Just over half the patients with suicidal thoughts or actions (59,631 children in total) were 15- to 17-year-olds, 37 percent (43,682 children) were with 12- to 14-year-olds, and almost 13 percent (15,050 children) involved 5- to 11-year-olds. There were seasonal variations, with the lowest percentage of cases occurring during June through August and the highest during spring and fall, it added.
The increase of suicides by was far lower than the rates of actual attempts or suicidal thoughts. It was 2.6 percent in 2014 for males aged 10 to 14 and 18.2% for males aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to 1.5% in the same year for females aged 10 to 14 and 4.6 percent for females aged 15 to 24. Although based on a small number of suicides compared with other age groups (150 in 2014), the suicide rate for females aged 10 to 14 had the largest percent increase during the time period, tripling from 0.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.5 in 2014.
Younger children who died by suicide more often experienced relationship problems with family members and friends and less often had boyfriend/girlfriend problems or left a suicide note, a separate study released last year found. Among those with mental-health problems, childhood suicides more often involved attention-deficit disorder and depression in older children, according to that study, published in the journal Pediatrics. It analyzed national data covering the suicides of children aged 5 to 11 from 2003 to 2012 in 17 US states.
Other factors may play a role. “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents, and gay teens are four times more likely than straight teens to attempt suicide,” according to Harold S. Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to the mental health of young people. He says social media and bullying must be tackled hand-in-hand. The rate of school bullying among children ages 12 to 18 has fallen to 22 percent in 2013 after hovering at 28 percent for several years, the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics has said.