Suicide rate among teen girls is the highest it’s been in 40 years

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Monarch Behavioral Health Agency assists and supports 85 new people weekly at their Greensboro office, many of them teens.

Whether it is walk- in or by appointment, each person is evaluated to know which form of therapy would works best. Vice Present Todd Posey for the Sandhills regions explains.

“The open access is where people can walk in and be seen same day, also outpatient, psychiatry those things are here as well as some enhanced services,” Posey said. “The people who have private insurance have more options but often Medicaid insurance don’t. So, we’re for the population who may not have as many resources as some.”

Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their latest statistical findings up to year 2015 for suicide rates among teenagers.

The suicide rate has increased by 28 percent since 2000. The chart and numbers report that the rate for female teenagers is the highest it’s been in 40 years, since 1975.

“The suicide rate for males aged 15 to 19 years increased from 12.0 to 18.1 per 100,000 population from 1975 to 1990, declined to 10.8 by 2007, and then increased 31 percent to 14.2 by 2015. The rate in 2015 for males was still lower than the peak rates in the mid- 1980s to mid-1990s. Rates for females aged 15 to 19 were lower than for males aged 15 to 19 but followed a similar pattern during 1975 to 2007 (increasing from 2.9 to 3.7 from 1975 to 1990, followed by a decline from 1990 to 2007). The rates for females then doubled from 2007 to 2015 (from 2.4 to 5.1). The rate in 2015 was the highest for females for the 1975 to 2015 period.”

Nurse Manager Debra Mack with Monarch finds the rate surprising but notices the signs for those who enter the Crisis Unit.

“They seem more frustrated when they come into our crisis unit for services and then you have those that are completely depressed and isolated,” Mack said. “So the symptoms haven’t changes but some of the exasperations of the symptoms are changing the female population.”

Experts mention exposure to violence and social media as possible factors that glamourize suicide.

Posey mentioned the controversial success of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

“Since that has been released, there was a study done that has shown a 26 percent increase in people, through their internet browsers searching the phrase, ‘How to commit suicide?’ Posey said. “It would probably be really good for a parent to sit down with a child and watch it together and then to question, ‘Is this something you’ve thought about?’, ‘Have you seen this happen with somebody at school?”

Mack emphasizes the importance of communication and noticing the signs of hopelessness, helplessness and sudden isolation.

“Being aware of what is extreme differently versus what’s normal for an adolescent,” Mack said.

Monarch’s crisis hotline is maned 24 hours a day, seven days week at (336) 676-6907 for people contemplating suicide to call for assistance.

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