Suspected suicide attempts increased during the pandemic among adolescents, especially among females, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC found that visits to the emergency room for suspected suicide attempts increased among those ages 12-17 during the pandemic. The increase was more pronounced among females of that age, with an increase of 26.2% from July to August of 2020 and a 50.6% rise from February to March of 2021 when compared to similar periods in 2019.
The increase was considerably smaller for males ages 12-17, with only a 3.7% increase from February to March of 2021.
The findings also show that suspected suicide attempts for those ages 18-25 did not increase during the pandemic. The CDC study did not examine whether deaths from suicides actually increased during the pandemic.
“These new findings underscore the enormous impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our country’s overall emotional wellbeing, especially among young people,” Maureen Iselin, a spokeswoman from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, said in a statement.
Previous research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association did not find an increase in suicide deaths during the pandemic. That study used preliminary data from the CDC that was not complete.