In a new study, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that suicide attempts among teenagers, specifically teenage girls spiked during the pandemic. The report shows a dramatic increase in the ER visits for suicide attempts among teens.
The rate of suicide attempts is found greater than that of teen boys. As per the reports by CDC, suicide attempts among 12 to 17-year-old girls surged during the pandemic. The average of weekly visits to the ER for the month of February 2021 to March 2021 was 50.6 percent higher than the same month in 2019.
CDC says that the sharp increase began in May 2020. However, according to the organisation, the ER visits for suspected suicides include suicide attempts as well as non-suicidal harms.
On the other hand, the report shows an increase of 4 percent in the suicide attempts among the teenage boys for the same age group. The authors of the report stated, “The findings from this study suggest more severe distress among young females than has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention to, and prevention for, this population,”
The data for the research/study was gathered by the CDC from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program’s emergency department visit data in 49 states.
Most importantly, not all of the states showed consistent emergency department visit data. Besides, the race and ethnicity data were not available at the time of the study.
The reason behind the surge in the suicide attempt cases in the teens, as described by the CDC, could be the disruption of daily life with pandemic lockdowns and social distancing orders. Additionally, as CNBC reported, seeking mental health treatment was also difficult, which eventually led to substance abuse, which contributed to the already aggressive COVID related anxiety.
Above all, the authors of the report notably emphasized on the mental toll the pandemic has taken on adolescents, particularly young women, despite the statistical numbers.