Suicide rate hit 40-year peak among older teen girls in 2015

(CNN) The suicide rate among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 reached a 40-year high in 2015, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

In the shorter term, the suicide rate for those girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, the research indicates.
By comparison, the 2015 suicide rate for boys in this age group was lower than in the peak years of the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. The researchers derived suicide rates from official data from death certificates.
“These data show that between 2007 and 2015, there’s substantial increases in suicide rates for both young males and young females,” said Tom Simon, an author of the report and associate director for science in the division of violence protection at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the new data Thursday.
For young males, there was a 31% increase in suicide rates, and for young females, the suicide rate doubled,” Simon said. …
“We know that overall in the US, we’re seeing increases in suicide rates across all age groups,” Simon said, putting the new report in perspective. …
Tishler noted that previous studies from the CDC have indicated that males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and thus represent 77.9% of all suicides. Yet females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts.
“If you look at suicide attempts by girls, it’s typically that girls attempt suicide about four to one or three to one over boys, yet boys complete suicide in the reverse,” Tishler said. …
Simon noted that in this older teen age group, the primary method chosen by boys is firearms, yet for girls, the most common method is suffocation. Still, a significant number of females may choose to poison themselves with an overdose, which can be remediated in an ER in some cases, Tishler said.
He theorized that girls now have access to pills that may be more lethal…
“Physicians need to be careful” when increasing, starting or stopping psychotropic medications, because this may “give someone energy to die by suicide,” Tishler said.

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