Suicide rates have hit an all-time high for this group
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new study stating the suicide rate of American teenage girls hit a 40-year high in 2015. Even more concerning, the CDC says it only continues to grow.
It’s not just young girls we should be concerned about, either. The study further states the suicide rate rose more than 30 percent among American teenage boys from 2007 to 2015, and suicide rates in general among adults and teens have gone up 28 percent since 2000.
If this information isn’t alarming enough, the CDC says 4,320 children and young adults up to 24 years-old died by suicide in 2007, making suicide one of the top four causes of death for people 10 and up. In 2015, this number only increased, making the total 5,900 deaths.
To simplify, this means that on average, roughly 16 American youths are taking their lives each day.
What’s going on? Why is this happening?
CDC suicide experts claim the following as possible factors:
- Increased use of social media
- Economic recessions
However, there are many more factors aside from these which leave someone at risk for suicide, and there’s always the chance that more than one factor can be in play at once.
While it might be difficult to narrow down and fix all the possible factors which can increase someone’s risk for suicide, it’s not impossible to help prevent someone from taking their life. Dr. Gabrielle Roberts, a psychologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., lists the following warning signs of suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to commit suicide
- Exhibiting a depressed mood
- Talking about feeling overwhelming pain (may be related to recent serious loss)
- Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, invisible or burdensome
- Extreme changes in behavior or an increase in risky, reckless behavior
- Social withdrawal
- Visiting, calling or writing letters/messages/social media posts to people to say goodbye
- Loss of interest in usual hobbies and activities
- Having difficulty sleeping and eating
- An increase in use of alcohol or drugs
- Giving away important possessions
- No longer tending to physical appearance
“If you are concerned someone may be suicidal—or if you are feeling suicidal—there is help,” says Dr. Roberts. “Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) or, in cases of immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911.”
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About the Author
Jamie Bonnema, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She earned her BA in communications from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.