The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that emergency room visits after suspected suicide attempts by teenage girls rose in the early months of 2021, compared to rates in 2019.
The New studyWhich relied on data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Programme, showed that emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts rose by an average of 51 percent for girls aged 12 to 17 in the four weeks ending March 20, compared to the same period in year 2019. The researchers said the rate began to rise in the summer of 2020.
Number of suspected suicide attempts among boys of the same age The study found that adults of both sexes between the ages of 18 and 25 remained relatively stable, compared to a similar period in 2019.
“The results of this study indicate more severe distress among young women than has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention to and prevention in this population,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The report comes in the wake of others Recent Research who suggested Higher rates of mental health problems Among teens, including self-harm, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, which some experts fear may be linked to stress from the pandemic.
But Elaine Yared, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study, wrote in an email that “the analysis in this report was not designed to assess whether this increase was due to Covid-19.”
“However, some researchers have suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic could increase the risk of suicide,” Dr Yared continued. “Young people may have been particularly affected by mitigating measures such as social distancing (including disengagement with schools, teachers, and peers), barriers to treatment for mental health, family health and economic problems.”
The researchers also said the jump in teenage hospital visits did not necessarily mean more suicides. Referring to emergency department visits, the report said: “Importantly, although this report found increases in emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts among teenage girls during 2020 and early 2021, this does not mean an increase in deaths from suicide.” .
According to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Vital Statistics Systemsuicide, In fact it decreased overall in the United States in 2020, to 44,834 deaths from 47,511 in 2019, although preliminary studies based on local data showed a rise in suicides among black Americans and other people of color, compared to previous years.
John Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator Center for Suicide Prevention and Research At Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, he said the report matches his experience since the start of the pandemic.
Dr. Ackermann, who was not involved in the study, said he saw Reduced rates of emergency room visits of teenagers mental health issues Early in the pandemic, perhaps because people were worried about exposure to the virus, but those numbers increased as the months went on.
“I’m starting to see emergency departments, locally here in Ohio but also across the country, I’m starting to report very high rates of hospitalization due to suicide attempts, depression, anxiety, self-harm, these kinds of presenting factors,” Dr. Ackerman said.
He said it was an epidemic An additional source of concern For people in groups who are often at higher risk for suicidal thoughts, such as people of color and LGBTQ youth.
Many factors play a role, Dr. Ackermann added, and the pandemic was just one factor among many stressors in what he called a “turbulent year.”
“A lot of people have felt isolated or invalidated, or feeling hopeless For many reasons, all of which are risk factors for suicide.