Monday, November 28, 2022
There has been a steady increase in the number of children who are seen in emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts, according to a new study – and the increase started even before the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought record high demand for psychological services for children.
The pandemic’s effects drew renewed attention to suicide in teens and young children. In June, the Biden administration called the recent rise in rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among kids an “unprecedented mental health crisis.”
The study, published...in the journal Pediatrics, used data from hospitals in Illinois. The researchers looked at the number of children ages 5 to 19 who sought help for suicide in emergency departments between January 2016 and June 2021.
In that period, there were 81,051 emergency department visits by young people that were coded for suicidal ideation. About a quarter of those visits turned into hospital stays.
The study found that visits to the ER with suicidal thoughts increased 59% from 2016-17 to 2019-21. There was a corresponding increase in cases in which suicidal ideation was the principal diagnosis, which rose from 34.6% to 44.3%.
Hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts increased 57% between fall 2019 and fall 2020.
Read more here.