The Stream

Why are so many teen girls in the US attempting suicide?

On Tuesday, June 22 at 19:30GMT:
The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone and teenage girls in the US have faced particular difficulties, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The proportion of mental health–related emergency department visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31 percent in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, the report said. Visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls aged 12-17 then jumped 50 percent from February to March 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. The increase among boys the same age over the same period was just 3.7 percent.

The disturbing trend doesn’t only affect US teenagers. According to data from the Kids Helpline, an Australian counselling service, suicide attempts among teens in the state of Victoria jumped 184 percent in the last six months.

So why the huge spike? Many experts say the pandemic is largely to blame. The teenage years are an important developmental period and forced isolation has left many young people vulnerable to feelings of loneliness and depression. The pandemic has also taken a toll on ways to address the problem with limited access to mental health resources.

In this episode of The Stream, we sit down with mental health experts to talk about the rise in teen suicide attempts and ask them what resources are available to help.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Jessica Taylor
Licensed Professional Counselor

Geela Margo Ramos, @Active_Minds


Jonathan Singer, @socworkpodcast
President, American Association of Suicidology
Host, Social Work Podcast