According to a new survey, an increasing number of young Americans, including youngsters, are ending their own lives with handguns.
Researchers discovered an alarming spike in gun suicides among Americans aged 5 to 24 between 2008 and 2018. While suicides among children remain uncommon, the rate for youngsters under the age of 15 tripled throughout the research period.
Rise In Gun Suicide Cases Amongst Youths Of America
It is commonly known that juvenile suicide in the United States has been on the rise. A survey published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 57 percent rise in suicides among 10- to 24-year-olds between 2007 and 2018.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, firearm-assisted suicide accounts for more than half of all suicide deaths in the United States.
According to the report, suicides among 15- to 24-year-olds increased by 50% between 2008 and 2018. There were seven such fatalities per 100,000 Americans in that age bracket in 2018.
Suicides by firearm were substantially less likely among youngsters aged 5 to 14. The percentage growth, however, was dramatic, quadrupling from 0.12 per 100,000 in 2008 to slightly under 0.5 per 100,000 in 2018.
They wanted to bring people’s attention to the fact that this is happening, she explained.
However, the causes behind the patterns remain unknown. These are merely descriptive statistics, Wood explained.
However, there are likely several explanations, including poorer mental health among young Americans, more availability to firearms, and other variables, she noted.
According to Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer at the nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness in Arlington, Va., the findings underline the reality that guns are a public health concern.
It is known that having access to weapons increases the likelihood of suicide, Duckworth added.
He also discovered a link between gun ownership rates in different states in the United States and suicide rates. According to research, suicide rates are highest in states with the most gun owners and lowest in areas with the fewest.
Duckworth, who evaluated the findings, stated that the study is essential.
It is known for a long time that juvenile suicide is on the rise, he remarked. This is an examination of the means.
The findings, which were just published in the Annals of Public Health and Research, are based on CDC data gathered between 1999 and 2018.
According to Wood, firearm suicides among young Americans were decreasing throughout the early half of that time.
Then, in 2007, it was seen that it had a strong upward shift, Wood explained.
This is consistent with the findings of other research, including the CDC study, on teenage suicide in general. Though several ideas have been proposed, including a role for social media, the reasons have remained elusive.
According to Wood’s team, when it comes to gun suicides, it’s evident that the issue of weapons access must be addressed.
They argue that ignoring the role of firearms is equivalent to ignoring cigarettes in the battle against lung cancer.
The most essential thing for parents, according to Duckworth, is to seek assistance for any depressive symptoms their children are experiencing, and to tell their children that they can always talk to them.
He noted that if there is a firearm in the house, safety procedures become much more important.
Wood advised parents who have worries about their child’s mental health to consult their doctors and check into community options in their area.
The findings are consistent with a new CDC study published on June 11 that found that the suicide attempt rate among adolescent females had increased by up to 50% during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the CDC, emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts by 12- to 17-year-old girls increased 26 percent in the summer of 2020 and 50 percent in the winter of 2021, compared to 2019. During the pandemic, emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts among boys in that age group and young adults aged 18 to 25 were steady.