*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
The suicide attempt rate has risen by as much as half among teenage girls during the coronavirus pandemic, a new government study shows.
Emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls between the ages of 12 and 17 increased by 26% during summer 2020 and by 50% during winter 2021, compared with the same periods in 2019, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. However, ER trips related to suspected suicide attempts among boys of the same age and young adults aged 18 to 25 remained stable during the pandemic.
“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,” concluded the report published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Self-reported suicide attempts are consistently higher among teen girls than boys, and research prior to the pandemic indicated that girls had higher and increasing rates of emergency department visits related to suicide attempts than boys, the CDC scientists noted.
Young girls might have been more affected by the pandemic due to lockdowns that broke their connectedness to schools, teachers, and friends, the study speculated.
The researchers noted a 31% increase in the proportion of mental health-related emergency department visits that occurred among teenagers in 2020, compared with the year before.
At the same time, there’s been no significant increase in suicide deaths among teenage girls during the pandemic.