Suicide is a serious public health problem among all age groups. Among youth it exacts an enormous toll due to the significant years of potential life lost. In 2017, there were more than6,200 suicide deaths among adolescents and young adults ages 15-24, making it the second-leading cause of death for that age group.
This report is a somber one, but it is necessary to ensure you are aware of the situation.
The New York times recently reported on the surge of student suicides and how Las Vegas is pushing to reopen schools due to what has come to light.
We are all aware of the challenges we have individually faced dealing with the stress of social isolation and trying to cope. With
children, that stress is far stronger than we ever imagined.
Although the national data from 2020 is not yet available, youth emergency visits for mental health issues have skyrocketed across the nation.
In Clark County Arizona, the school system has seen a doubling of child suicides every 6 months since they went into lockdown.
The youngest suicide was 9 years old – his note read, “I have nothing to look forward to”
In Maryland, parents of a 14-year-old, described how he just gave up after the school chose not to reopen in the fall.
In Texas, Mr Hunstable produced a documentary called, “almost 13” to show his child’s descent in social isolation that resulted in the hanging death of his son.
Child suicide rates were on the rise in the US even before the pandemic lockdown. In 2018, suicide was the leading cause of deaths for youths and young adults.With the growing social isolation and school closures, that number has spiked further in 2020. And since the lockdowns started, some districts have reported suicide clusters forming.
The situation is grim. Even when schools try to help by offering remote outreach services, those services are being overwhelmed by student calls for support. One school district has received over 3,100 alerts in a 3-month period. In each case of suicide, parents are left with grief and guilt, looking for signs they may have missed. As a parent who is on this devastating grief journey, I can assure you that this will haunt you for a very long time.
There are so many questions you ask yourself, with no comfort in the answers you uncover. Healthy Children. Org has 10 things a parent can do to prevent suicide. If you are a parent, grand parent or other childcare provider, I strongly encourage you to review the proactive steps you can take now, before it is too late.
Finally, the national suicide prevention lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. Keep the number handy. They can also provide you help, if you believe someone to be at risk. Keep the number handy. They can also provide you help, if you believe someone to be at risk.
Until next time, stay vigilant and let’s do all we can to reduce the spread.