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Study reveals rise in emergency room visits for suicidal children

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According to a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the number of suicidal children visiting emergency rooms has “spiked in recent years.” The study, published Monday, analyzed data on 205 Illinois hospitals from January 2016 to June 2021.

“[Emergency room] visits for suicidal ideation rose 59% when looking at a 22-month period in 2019-’21 compared to the same amount of time in 2016-’17, with sharp spikes in the fall of 2019 and fall of 2020,” AAP said in a news article. “From the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020, monthly inpatient hospitalization among youths reporting suicidal ideation rose 57%. Authors said this may have been due to patients delaying care early in the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Study co-author Dr. Audrey Brewer said the true numbers are probably much higher than what the study found, because not all children who may be suicidal go to the emergency room. While the study was based in Illinois, experts believe the problem is not unique to any one state.

“Rapidly increasing suicide rates among children are a major public health concern in the United States,” the authors of the study wrote. “Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among United States youth aged 10 to 19 years. Suicide death rates among children have increased by more than 50% over the past 2 decades.”

The Biden administration noticed the trend and declared America’s youth as “facing an unprecedented mental health crisis.” Last month, the AAP led a letter to President Joe Biden with more than 140 state and national organizations, urging the administration to declare the crisis a federal national emergency.

“Even before the pandemic, rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among youth were on the rise,” the White House said in a July fact sheet. “The pandemic exacerbated those issues, disrupting learning, relationships, and routines and increasing isolation – especially among our nation’s young people.”

CNN contributed to this report.

IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC…SUICIDE WAS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN AGES TEN TO FOURTEEN.
AND YOUNG ADULTS AGES 25 TO 34.
AND ACCORDING TO NEW DATA…
CHILDREN GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OVER SUICIDAL THOUGHTS HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY DURING THE PANDEMIC…
ALTHOUGH HOSPITAL VISITS WERE ALREADY ON THE RISE IN THE YEARS LEADING UP TO THE LOCKDOWNS.
A NEW STUDY EVALUATED DATA FROM HOSPITALS IN ILLINOIS…
WHERE MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY IS LIKELY TO FIT NATIONWIDE TRENDS.
RESEARCHERS COMPARED DATA FROM 20-16 AND 20-17 TO THE EARLY YEARS OF THE PANDEMIC…ER VISITS FOR “5 TO 19 YEAR OLDS” INCREASED 59 PERCENT FOR CHILDREN SEEKING HELP FOR THOUGHTS OF SELF-HARM.
LOCKDOWNS, SCHOOL CLOSURES, SOCIAL ISOLATION WERE FOUND TO BE FACTORS ACCORDING TO THE STUDY.
CHILDREN EXPERIENCING DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS STEADILY INCREASED OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS…SOMETHING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS CALLED AN ‘UNPRECEDENTED MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.’
THE INCREASE IN CHILDREN SEEKING HELP HAS BROUGHT ON A RECORD-DEMAND FOR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.
THE DEMAND BENDING THE SYSTEM IN PLACE…WITH SOME LOCAL HOSPITALS OUT OF BED SPACE FOR CHILDREN SEEKING HELP WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

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According to a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the number of suicidal children visiting emergency rooms has “spiked in recent years.” The study, published Monday, analyzed data on 205 Illinois hospitals from January 2016 to June 2021.

“[Emergency room] visits for suicidal ideation rose 59% when looking at a 22-month period in 2019-’21 compared to the same amount of time in 2016-’17, with sharp spikes in the fall of 2019 and fall of 2020,” AAP said in a news article. “From the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020, monthly inpatient hospitalization among youths reporting suicidal ideation rose 57%. Authors said this may have been due to patients delaying care early in the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Study co-author Dr. Audrey Brewer said the true numbers are probably much higher than what the study found, because not all children who may be suicidal go to the emergency room. While the study was based in Illinois, experts believe the problem is not unique to any one state.

“Rapidly increasing suicide rates among children are a major public health concern in the United States,” the authors of the study wrote. “Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among United States youth aged 10 to 19 years. Suicide death rates among children have increased by more than 50% over the past 2 decades.”

The Biden administration noticed the trend and declared America’s youth as “facing an unprecedented mental health crisis.” Last month, the AAP led a letter to President Joe Biden with more than 140 state and national organizations, urging the administration to declare the crisis a federal national emergency.

“Even before the pandemic, rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among youth were on the rise,” the White House said in a July fact sheet. “The pandemic exacerbated those issues, disrupting learning, relationships, and routines and increasing isolation – especially among our nation’s young people.”

CNN contributed to this report.

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