Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts On The Rise Among Young People: 'It's A Critical Public-Health Crisis Right Now'

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The authors also observed seasonal variations in encounters for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, with the lowest frequency during the summer and the highest in the spring and fall. The researchers found 115,856 such encounters for suicide ideation and attempts in emergency departments at 31 children's hospitals around the U.S. They found that nearly two-thirds of these encounters were girls. While increases were seen across all age groups, they were highest among teens ages 15-17, followed by ages 12-14.

That's according to a study published yesterday in "Pediatrics".

In-Depth [cross-sectional study]: Researchers used clinical and billing data from 31 children's hospitals in the United States within the Pediatric Health Information System database to identify 115 856 encounters (emergency department, inpatient, and intensive care unit) for SI and SA between 2008 and 2015 based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition (ICD-9) codes. The study observed drifts in an emergency room and inpatient experiences for suicide ideation and endeavors in kids ages 5-17 years at USA kids' healing facilities from 2008 to 2015. Girls made up almost two-thirds of the cases. Children aged 12-14 represented 37 percent of the events, while about 13 percent accounted for children between 5 and 11.

The researchers looked overall suicide ideation and attempt rates in school-age children and adolescents then they evaluated the data month-by-month and found seasonal trends in the encounters. These work emphasize the growing need for mental health services and training for clinicians at children's hospitals, and suggests that further study of the contribution of school to SI and SA is needed.

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They examined data from the Pediatric Health Information System database, with clinical and billing data from 49 USA children's hospitals.

"To our knowledge, this is one of only a few studies to report higher rates of hospitalization for suicide during the academic school year", said Greg Plemmons, the study's lead author. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, in a news release.

The researchers called for more studies of possible gender differences in youth mental health.

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