Kids’ Suicide-Related Hospital Visits Rise Sharply

June 01, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The New York Times

New findings suggest that suicide-related hospital visits have risen among young people in the U.S. Using national data, researchers found that the percentage of hospital and emergency department visits for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among children and teens nearly tripled from 2008 to 2015. The rate of increase was steepest among adolescent girls. The researchers also found the percentage of suicide-related medical visits was highest during the school year and lowest during the summer months. This seasonal trend is different from the pattern seen in adults, who are at increased risk in July and August, said Gregory Plemmons, lead study author and associate professor of pediatrics at the Vanderbilt Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. Performance anxiety and social stress could be associated with increased suicide risk among young people during the school year, which could have implications for how schools identify and assist those who are vulnerable, according to Plemmons.

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.