Pandemic Saw a Rise in ER Visits for Suspected Suicide Attempts in Teen Girls


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study this week which showed that the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the mental health of teen girls nationwide throughout the last year.

The state of the world throughout the last year has actually seen emergency room visits for girls aged 12 to 17 who are feeling suicidal increase by more than 50 percent since 2019, the study said. The study actually showed incrementally how hard the country’s public health emergency, financial burdens and social isolation has been on young people, and particularly, for young girls.

“During 2020, the proportion of mental health–related emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31% compared with that during 2019,” the CDC said.

But by early this year, the agency noted the situation had gotten worse.

“In May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ED visits for suspected suicide attempts began to increase among adolescents aged 12–17 years, especially girls. During February 21–March 20, 2021, suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6% higher among girls aged 12–17 years than during the same period in 2019; among boys aged 12–17 years, suspected suicide attempt ED visits increased 3.7%,” the CDC noted.

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The study used emergency room data from 49 states and the District of Columbia — excluding Hawaii.

Factors for the shocking uptick in suicide attempts were attributed to loneliness, isolation, the inability to access mental health care and substance abuse, although the CDC noted the study “was not designed to identify the risk factors.”

But the CDC did comment on those risk factors.

“Young persons might represent a group at high risk because they might have been particularly affected by mitigation measures, such as physical distancing (including a lack of connectedness to schools, teachers, and peers); barriers to mental health treatment; increases in substance use; and anxiety about family health and economic problems, which are all risk factors for suicide,” the study said.

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“In addition, average ED visit rates for mental health concerns and suspected child abuse and neglect, risk factors for suicide attempts, also increased in 2020 compared with 2019 potentially contributing to increases in suspected suicide attempts,” the agency added.

“Conversely, by spending more time at home together with young persons, adults might have become more aware of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and thus been more likely to take their children to the ED.”

Reports in recent months have shown that attempts to stop or slow the spread of the coronavirus through mitigation efforts chosen by the government and public health officials harmed children and adults.

KTTLA-TV reported in February that the city of San Francisco sued its own district in an attempt to force administrators to reopen schools, citing high suicide rates among children in the city as lockdowns in California had then continued for nearly a year.

“Distance learning is a form of instruction; it is not school,” a lawsuit filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said.

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The city attorney argued that keeping children isolated “constitutes a substantial violation of their constitutional rights.”

KTLA reported that the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital had seen a 66 percent increase in the number of children expressing suicidal thoughts and a 75 increase in those who required hospitalization over mental health issues.

“The medical evidence is clear that keeping public schools closed is catalyzing a mental health crisis among school-aged children in San Francisco,” said Dr. Jeanne Noble, who is the director of COVID Response for the UCSF Emergency Department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week showed that the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the mental health of teen girls throughout the last year.

The tragic effects of isolation have been felt globally throughout the last year.

In Japan last fall, more people died from suicide in a single month than had died from COVID throughout the entire year. In October, 2,153 people chose to commit suicide.

At that time, the Japanese government said that year to date, 2,087 deaths had been attributed to the coronavirus.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.