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ED Visits for Youth Suicide Attempts Began Increasing in May 2020

Suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6 percent higher among girls aged 12 to 17 years for Feb. 21 to March 20, 2021, versus 2019

depressed teen

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Among individuals aged 12 to 25 years, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts began increasing by early May 2020, according to research published in the June 11 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ellen Yard, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program to examine trends in emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts during Jan. 1, 2019, to May 15, 2021, among individuals aged 12 to 25 years.

The researchers found that persons aged 12 to 25 years made fewer emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts during March 29 to April 25, 2020, compared with the corresponding period in 2019. By early May 2020, there was an increase in emergency department visit counts for suspected suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, especially among girls. The mean weekly number of emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls aged 12 to 17 years was 26.2 percent higher during July 26 to Aug. 22, 2020, compared with the same period in 2019; during Feb. 21 to March 20, 2021, the mean weekly emergency department visit counts for suspected suicide attempts among girls aged 12 to 17 years were 50.6 percent higher than in the same period in 2019.

"Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach that is adapted during times of infrastructure disruption, involves multisectoral partnerships and implements evidence-based strategies to address the range of factors influencing suicide risk," the authors write.

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