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51% increase in adolescent female suicide attempts during pandemic, according to CDC

A disturbing piece of data released by the CDC shows the increase of emergency room visits for girls ages 12-17 due to attempted suicide rose by 50.6% between February and March of 2021.

The rates remained about the same for adolescent boys and young adults.

Mental health visits in the emergency department were up 31% for adolescents during the same time period.

These numbers show how much youth have been affected mentally and emotionally by the pandemic. The numbers are likely underreported according to researchers, making it possible that the number of suicide attempts was even higher and not everyone sought medical attention.

The pattern is that adolescent girls attempt suicide at twice the rate of adolescent males, but the winter of 2021 showed females attempting suicide at four times the rate.

Authors of the study wrote that the need for more attention to this specific population is evident.

Dr. Richard McKeon, the branch chief for suicide prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says that while the suicide attempts among adolescent females were on the rise before the pandemic, the pandemic likely exacerbated it.

Despite the increase in suicide attempts, the CDC has not seen an increase in adolescent suicide deaths.