Gun suicides on the rise among American youth

by Amy Norton
healthday reporter

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — An increasing number of young Americans, including children, are taking their own lives by using firearms, a new study finds.

The researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, there was an “alarming” increase in gun suicides among Americans aged 5 to 24. And while those suicides are rare in children, the rate for children under the age of 15 has quadrupled during the study period.

It is well known that young suicidal Climbing in the United States. Last year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 57% increase in suicide among 10- to 24-year-olds between 2007 and 2018.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the new study specifically looked at suicide by firearms, which accounts for more than half of suicide deaths in the United States.

The study found that between 2008 and 2018, the number of suicides among 15- to 24-year-olds increased by 50%. In 2018, there were seven such deaths per 100,000 Americans in that age group.


Suicide by gun was much less common among children aged 5 to 14. But the relative increase quadrupled from 0.12 per 100,000 in 2008, down from 0.5 per 100,000 in 2018.

Senior researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton, Dr. Sarah Wood said, while those numbers are small, the pattern is “very related.”

“We wanted to open people’s eyes to the fact that this is happening,” she said.

However, the reasons for the trends are unclear.

“These are just descriptive data,” Wood said. “They don’t tell us the ‘why’.”

But it’s likely to have several causes – possibly a combination of worsening mental health Young Americans have wider access to guns and other factors, he said.

The findings highlight the fact that guns are a public health issue, Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of the nonprofit National Coalition on Mental Illness in Arlington, Va.

“We know that access to firearms is a risk factor for suicide,” Duckworth said.

He said there is also a link between gun ownership numbers and suicide rates in US states. Research shows that the states with the most gun owners have the highest suicide rates, and the states with the fewest ones have the lowest.


Duckworth, who reviewed the findings, said the study provides important information.

“We know youth suicide is on the rise,” he said. “This instrument is watching.”

Conclusion – Recently Published History of Public Health and Research – are based on CDC data collected between 1999 and 2018.

During the early part of that period, Wood said, firearm suicides among young Americans were declining.

“Then in 2007, you see this sharp turn upwards,” Wood said.

Which studies, including the CDC report, have found this category for youth suicide in general. Explanations remain elusive, although various theories have been put forward, including the role of social media.

When it comes to gun suicides, it’s clear that the issue of firearm use has to be addressed, according to Wood’s team.

They write that ignoring the role of guns in the fight against lung cancer would be like ignoring cigarettes.

For parents, Duckworth said, the most important thing is to get help for someone symptoms of depression Their children are experiencing, and they can always talk to them to reassure their children.


If there is a firearm in the house, he said, safety precautions become even more important.

Wood said parents with any concerns about their child’s mental health can talk to their pediatrician and look to local community resources.

The research coincides with the June 11 publication of a new CDC study showing that suicide attempt rates among teenage girls have increased by more than half. coronavirus Universal pandemic.

CDC researchers said emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts by girls aged 12 to 17 increased by 26% during the summer of 2020 and by 50% during the winter of 2021, compared to 2019. Emergency department visits related to suspected suicide attempts. Boys in that age group and young adults aged 18 to 25 remained stable during pandemic pandemic.

Duckworth said other studies have documented a particularly large mental health toll from the pandemic on young Americans.

But, he said, it takes a long time to get reliable data on suicides.


more information

The National Coalition on Mental Illness has more about suicide prevention.

SOURCES: Sarah Wood, MD, Interim Dean and Senior Associate Dean, Education, Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton; Ken Duckworth, MD, chief medical officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Arlington, VA; History of Public Health and Research, May 31, 2021, online; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 11, 2021


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