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Study finds suicide rates among teens on the rise

There are sobering new numbers on teenagers and suicide.

Research shows suicide rates among young people are rising, reaching the highest levels since 2000. That is according to  a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 

And there's something else concerning.

 The researchers found  a 21 percent rise in boys aged 15-19 dying by suicide in 2017 from the year before.

But new research shows suicide rates for teens and young adults is increasing. 

In 2017,  there were more than 6,200 suicides among people aged 15 to 24 according to the study.

In Minnesota, there were 93 reported deaths by suicide for the same age group in the same year. 

Dr. Dan Dan Reidenberg is the executive director of the non-profit, SAVE. That is short for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. 

And he says despite the increase, it is difficult to call this a trend.

“Sadly, if we look at 2016 vs 2017 wWe see a 20-percent increase which is consistent with this study.  It is a  little bit higher in Minnesota but very consistent. What this tells us is the data overall, country or state, suicide is on an increase,’ he said. 

“It is just looking at one year to say there was this massive increase.  It is an anomaly, we don't know what causes that. It would take two-three years to find out whether or not that is really a significant thing over time.”

Reidenberg says the numbers reveal something troubling. 

“If  we look at the 6,000 lives that were lost in that time period between 2016 and 2017,  the vast majority are males. It is concerning that males are dying at this rate.

He said talking and getting treatment is the key to prevention. 

“We need parents to ask the questions. How are you doing? What is going on? How are you getting through this?  Not just parents’ janitors, teachers and coaches,” he said. “Especially through difficult times. Whether it is the breakup of a relationship, a problem with peer. Not getting on the team or academics or not getting the job, for some, they really struggle. If we don't ask about them and if we don't engage in a conversation we are never going to know the answers. We want to know the warning signs that parents might be able to see before it is too late.” 

 SAVE has a list of resources to help here. 


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