ENGLAND: Survey Identifies ‘Final Straw’ Stressors that May Be Associated with Teen Suicide

June 10, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Huffington Post

A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that sources of stress such as health problems and academic pressure may act as “final straw” factors contributing to suicidal feelings among young people. The authors cautioned that these factors are not predictive on their own, but may compound other issues such as family struggles, mental illness, loss of a loved one, or bullying. A part of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illnessin the United Kingdom research program, the study looked at data on people under the age of 20who died by suicide in England between January 2014 and April 2015. Researchers analyzed data from 130 cases of suicide during that time period and found that just over one-third had a physical health condition (most commonly, asthma or severe acne) and about a quarter each were experiencing academic pressure, bullying, and bereavement. While depression and bipolar disorder were the most common psychiatric diagnoses among the young people included in the study, the majority had not been diagnosed with any mental illness. According to the authors, “Although the overall risk is low, services and families should recognize the serious potential risk for some children and young people who are bereaved or under exam pressure, witnessing domestic abuse or using drugs, or who could be facing risk online or have themselves experienced a suicide.” 

Spark Extra! For more information, read the study abstract and report..