Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among 10- to 19-year-olds, and yet…

While the National Institutes of Health spent $68 million last year on suicide, that was less than was spent on many other public health issues. For instance, kidney disease kills about the same number as those who die by their own hand, but it received nine times more funding.

Even inflammatory bowel syndrome got more—actually two times more—and dietary supplements received even more than that, and yet…

  1. Last year, 47,000 people committed suicide.
  2. Nearly one in 7 U.S. kids has a mental health condition, and 50% of them go untreated finds University of Michigan researchers. Moreover, nearly 90% of those who commit suicide suffer from some form of mental illness.
  3. 22% of students with special needs have suicidal thoughts vs. 14% of general education students; however, 53% of those with special needs report having an adult to turn to vs. 45% of the general education population.
  4. Starting in 2007, suicide rates for girls, 10 to 14, began increasing 13% annually and 7% for boys. For teens, 15 to 19, the average annual increases were 8% for girls and 3.5% for boys.
  5. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2017, suicide rates of 15- to 19-year-olds increased 76%; for those 10 to 14, it nearly tripled during that time.
  6. There was an estimated 13% increase in suicides among 10- to 19-year-olds in the three months after 13 Reasons was released on Netflix.
  7. According to data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, there were some 1.12 million emergency room visits for kids 5 to 18 for either suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts.
  8. According to the CDC, 53 children 11 years old and younger took their lives in 2016, with deaths more than doubling between 2008 and 2016.

Moreover, the National Institute of Mental Health finds that 32 of adolescents suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 12%of those 12 to 17 have experienced one major depressive episode, says the U.S. Department of Health, and yet…

At the same time, Stephen Brock, a professor at California State University, Sacramento, says: “Just 20% of students diagnosed with mental disorders receive mental health services.”

And he adds, “90% of our kids attend a public school, a resource for identifying those with mental health problems, but currently, on average across the country, there is just one school psychologist for 1,700 students, with some districts with as few as one for every 6,000 students.”

The NASP recommends one school psychologist for every 500 to 700 students.

Hence, such headlines as…

  • “Children and Adolescents Are Dying by Suicide at Ever-Increasing Rates” ~ Education Week
  • “Suicide Kills 47,000 men, women, children a year. Society Shrugs” ~ USA Today Editorial
  • “Child Suicides: Rising Deaths But Few Clear Explanations” ~ Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today
  • “Suicide ER Visits for Kids Soar” ~ Ryan Miller, USA Today
  • “Suicide Rates among Adolescents at Highest Point Since 2000” ~ Sasha James, blogger
  • “Asking the Question, ‘Are You Okay?’ to Prevent Suicide” ~ Linda Stein, 21st Century Media
  • “Suicide Uptick Occurred among Teens and Tweens Following 13 Reasons Study Says” ~ Susan Scutti, CNN

So, if you or someone you care about needs help:

  • For information:
  • For help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time day or night at (800) 273-8255.
  • For crisis support in Spanish, call (888) 628-9454,