CDC: More teen girls went to the ER for suspected suicide attempts during pandemic

Suicide Risk

Data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic shows a sharp rise in emergency room visits among teenage girls suffering from mental health-related emergencies.

The CDC compiled the information in a weekly report released this month.

The CDC information showed that, compared to 2019, there was a 31 percent rise in mental health-related emergency room visits among kids between 12 and 17 years old. A closer examination showed that in May 2020, emergency department visits “for suspected suicide attempts began to increase among adolescents aged 12-17 years, especially girls.”

Between February and March 2021, “suspected suicide attempt [emergency department] visits were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12-17” than the year before. Among boys in that same age group, the number went up 3.7%.

IN-DEPTH COVERAGE: Ways to have conversations with your teenagers about suicide 

Researchers say teenage girls typically  have a higher rate of suicide attempts than teenage boys. “However, the findings from this study suggest more severe distress among young females than has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention to, and prevention for, this population.”

The report indicates the need for a comprehensive approach that helps prevent people from becoming suicidal, as well as working with people who are already at increased risk.

You can read the full report here.

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