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Suicide Rate Among US Teen Girls Hit 40-Year High: CDC

4 August 2017, 6:43 am EDT By Athena Chan Tech Times
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New data shows that the suicide rate among older teenage girls hit a 40-year peak back in 2015. Several factors may have contributed to the rise, as agencies and companies continue to bolster suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide Rates Go Up

New data from the National Center for Health Statistics showed that suicide rates among teen girls reached a 40-year peak in the year 2015. Though the increase fluctuated through the years, the suicide rates among girls aged 15 to 19 were the highest in 2015 since recording began in 1975.

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the numbers showed a significant peak in suicide rates among teenage girls in the United States. The suicide rate among girls in the age group doubled from 2007 to 2015.

Boys And Girls

To be clear, while the suicide rates for female teens saw a peak in 2015, the number of suicides among teenage boys remains higher.

Specifically, the suicide rate of 12 suicides per 100,000 among teenage boys in 1975 has increased to 14.2 in 2015. Among females, the 2.9 per 100,000 suicide rate in 1975 spiked to 5.1 in 2015 after a dip in 2007 when the suicide rate was at 2.4 per 100,000.

Generally speaking, the suicide rates for both teenage boys and girls have seen an increase in recent years. In 2015 alone, there were 524 female suicides and 1,537 male suicides in the 15 to 19 age group. By comparison, when the records began in 1975, there were 1,289 suicides among males and 305 suicides among females in the age group.

Further, in both 2014 and 2015, suicide was listed as the second highest leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds after unintentional injury with 5,079 suicides in 2014 and 5,491 suicides in 2015.

No Single Reason

According to Carl Tishler, professor at Ohio State University who was not involved in the report, it is not likely for the increase in suicide rates to be a result of a single factor. In fact, the increase could be a result of multiple factors, which include substance abuse, exposure to violence, lack of support, and even the recession in the late 2000s, which could have caused familial problems and stress.

Because of this, multiple efforts are being done to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

The CDC considers suicide prevention as a serious public health problem, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has called on urgent action on mental health as they named depression as the leading cause of sickness and disability.

Meanwhile, companies such as Facebook and Twitter have bolstered its suicide prevention efforts by adopting AI-powered tools.

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