Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts On The Rise Among Young People: 'It's A Critical Public-Health Crisis Right Now'

  • Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts On The Rise Among Young People: 'It's A Critical Public-Health Crisis Right Now'

Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts On The Rise Among Young People: 'It's A Critical Public-Health Crisis Right Now'

Peaks for encounters among the groups were highest in the fall and spring, and lowest in the summer.

They examined data from the Pediatric Health Information System database, with clinical and billing data from 49 USA children's hospitals.

Data from the Pediatric Health Information System allowed the researchers to use billing codes to determine the differences between emergency department encounters, observation stays, and inpatient hospitalizations related to suicide. These work emphasize the growing need for mental health services and training for clinicians at children's hospitals, and suggests that further study of the contribution of school to SI and SA is needed. The researchers found 115,856 such encounters for suicide ideation and attempts in emergency departments at 31 children's hospitals around the U.S. They found that nearly two-thirds of these encounters were girls. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. A little under 60% of these encounters resulted in hospitalization and of these, about 13% required intensive care.

There was a significant average annual increase in these types of encounters (average annual increase 0.16 percentage points, 95% CI 0.15-0.17, P 0.001).

The majority of the encounters were girls, and a little over half of the encounters occurred among teenagers ages 15 to 17.

The number of kids hospitalized for thinking about or attempting suicide has doubled in less than a decade. Rates were higher during the school year than in the summer, and almost two-thirds of the visits involved girls, according to results published in the medical journal Pediatrics. They suggested "age- and sex-specific approaches to suicide screening and prevention". In addition to looking at overall suicide ideation and attempt rates in school-age children and adolescents, the researchers analyzed the data month-by-month and found seasonal trends in the encounters. The number of incidents in October was double that as reported in July and the researchers say this could be because of the challenges and stresses of school.

Study limitations included potential misclassification of non-suicidal self-harm encounters as suicide ideation or suicide attempts.