09 Sep Suicide Prevention Week: Important Teen Statistics You Should Know
This week, September 5-11, marks National Suicide Prevention Week. These seven days are a very important time to learn, educate, and remind others about suicide risks, signs, and prevention. While this week is rightfully representative of people from all age groups, it is crucial that we remember that teens are an especially vulnerable population. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teens. Informing ourselves and others about the tragic realities of adolescent mental health issues can be a driving factor towards suicide prevention. In honor of this important week, here are some teen suicide statistics that parents, educators, and allies should all know about.
Suicide Is on the Rise
Teen suicide attempts have been on the rise for quite some time. A CDC report released last year stated that suicide rates among young people between the ages of 10 and 24 has increased between 2007 and 2018 by nearly 60%. These pre-pandemic numbers show that this is more than a problem — it’s an epidemic. As life has become more difficult for teens, they need more help than ever. This is a tragic crisis that needs attention now.
State of Emergency
The pandemic has overturned normal life and forced young people to cope with additional challenges. The mental health hardships that teens are facing are showing up in the form of suicide attempts represented through emergency medical care. According to the CDC, “During 2020, the proportion of mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31% compared with that during 2019.”
Suicide Attempts in Girls Are Growing
Among the already vulnerable teen population, girls’ stats have been growing the fastest. According to the CDC, “During February 21–March 20, 2021, suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years than during the same period in 2019; among boys aged 12–17 years, suspected suicide attempt ED visits increased 3.7%.” Across genders, teen suicide attempts are increasing. But as the numbers show, girls are more likely to attempt suicide and this is growing at a startling rate.
A Crisis for Black Youth
While suicide rates are highest among white teens, the suicide attempt rates for Black youth are increasing at a higher rate than any other race or ethnicity. According to the Congressional Black Caucus, among Black adolescents between 1991 and 2017, suicide attempts rose 73% and injuries from suicide attempts of Black boys increased 122%. These tragic numbers signal an urgent need to help Black youth.
Teen Suicide Prevention
As a parent, educator, or ally of teen mental health, it can be hard to face these startling statistics. But openness and awareness about the crisis our teens are facing is the best way to watch for signs and to be proactive about helping our teens recover. We can start by building awareness to reduce stigma. Teens need to feel comfortable reaching out to ask for help when they are struggling with mental health. These seven days are the time to empower our efforts around suicide prevention.
At Tilly’s Life Center, our mission is to protect and improve teen mental health. Our programming serves as resources for teens and their allies to learn about the best ways to cope with negative emotions in a positive way. For more information, please visit us at https://tillyslifecenter.org/.