In a recent study, researchers have claimed that suicide rate attempts by self-poisoning among teens and young adults have doubled.
Researchers evaluated the incidence and outcomes of intentional suspected-suicide self-poisoning in children and young adults.
"The severity of outcomes in adolescents has also increased, especially in 10- to 15-year-olds. In youth overall, from 2010-2018 there was a 141% increase in attempts by self-poisoning reported to U.S. poison centres, which is concerning," said Henry Spiller, co-author of the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
"Suicide in children under 12 years of age is still rare, but suicidal thoughts and attempts in this younger age group do occur. While certainly unsettling, it's important that parents and individuals who care for youth don't panic at these findings, but rather equip themselves with the tools to start important conversations and engage in prevention strategies, such as safe storage of medications and reducing access to lethal means. There are many resources and crisis supports available around the clock to aid in the prevention of suicide, and suicide prevention needs to start early," wrote John Ackerman, another co-author of the study.
According to the researchers, parents should check in regularly with their children, ask them directly how they are doing and if they have ever had thoughts about ending their life. These direct questions are even more critical if warning signs of suicide are observed.
"There is no need to wait until there is a major crisis to talk about a plan to manage emotional distress. Actually, a good time to talk directly about suicide or mental health is when things are going well," said Ackerman.
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