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Suicide rate of teenagers increases despite prevention efforts – Axios



Data: CDC; Chart by: Naema Ahmed / Axios

Parents, teachers and legislators are battling the worst suicide rate of teenagers in US history, despite a series of state laws and training programs designed to help.

By numbers: the number of suicides by people between the ages of 10 and 24 increased by 56% from 2007 to 2017, the fastest rate for each age group, a new report shows at the CDC. Suicides disproportionately affect people of color and the LGBTQ community.

Teachers in some school districts search Google for mental health tips because they don't know how to help their students, says Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government issues for the Trevor project, about Axios.

Intervention and prevention plans Plans are mandatory or heavily promoted in 42 states, but there are still pleadings for more inclusive programming.

  • The number of black teenagers trying to commit suicide has jumped 73% since 2007, the CDC notes.
  • Of the 22 suicide prevention laws passed in 2019, only Nevada specifically mentions LGBT youth. This group is 5 times more likely to be suicidal than their direct peers, according to Trevor Project, a LGBTQ Crisis Prevention and Suicide Center.
  • Suicide is the second most common cause of death among teens and young adults, pre-emptive homicides and prevented only by accident.

Conclusion: "If children were suddenly dying of these diseases from a new disease or infection, there would be a huge crisis. But most people don't even know this is happening, "said Lisa Horowitz, a pediatric psychologist at the National Institutes of Health before the Washington Post.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect that a separate study found the rise in suicide attempts of black teenagers (not CDC suicide).


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