National Suicide Rate Rises 28% Since 2000, With Teen Girls Hitting 40-Year High

The suicide rate among teenage girls continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2015, according to a new analysis released Thursday.

Suicide rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys and young men between 2007 and 2015, the updated breakdown from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

It’s all part of a growing national trend for more suicides, said CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon.

“There has been a substantial increase in suicide rates in adolescents aged 15 to 19 between 2007 and 2015,” Simon said.

“Nationally overall we have been seeing an increase in suicide rates that is pretty pervasive among all age groups,” added Simon. Overall suicide rates have gone up 28 percent since 2000, he said.

The new analysis from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics compares recent trends to data going back 40 years. It found the suicide rate for males aged 15 to 19 rose from 12 per 100,000 to 18 per 100,000 men and boys that age between 1975 and 1990. Suicide rates for boys fell between 1990 and 2007 and then started rising again, to 14 suicides for every 100,000 teenage boys by 2015.

“Rates for females aged 15–19 were lower than for males aged 15–19 but followed a similar pattern during 1975–2007,” the NCHS team wrote. “The rate in 2015 was the highest for females for the 1975–2015 period.”

In 2007, 4,320 children and young adults aged up to 24 died by suicide, the CDC says, making suicide among the top four causes of death for people 10 and up. In 2015, 5,900 kids and adults aged 10 to 24 died by suicide, separate CDC data shows.

“This increase in suicide rate is very concerning,” said Dr. Christine Moutier of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

What’s going on? A lot of different things, Moutier and Simon both said.

“It is really important to understand that suicide happens as a culmination of multiple risk factors, always multiple, that pile on top and sort of converge at a moment in time,” Moutier said.

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