Study: Number of suicide attempts by black teens increasing

by Jordyn Pair · Oct 14th, 2019 1:32 pm

Last Updated Nov 18th, 2019 at 1:07 pm

The rate of reported suicide attempts by African-American teens rose between 1991 to 2017, especially among black boys, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics.

More than 2,000 teens ages 15 to 19 died by suicide in 2017.

Researchers studied survey data from nearly 200,000 high school students from 1991 to 2017. They found that among all demographics, one in five high school students said they were thinking about suicide and one in 10 said they had made a plan to carry it out.

The authors saw an increased rate in reported suicide attempts among African-American teens between 1991 and 2017. They also saw an increase in the number of black boys who had injuries related to suicide attempts, which could suggest they are using more lethal means when attempting suicide.

Previous research has shown that African-American boys, especially those ages 5 to 11, experience a higher rate of suicide deaths. The suicide rate was found to be two times higher in black children ages 5 to 12 compared with white children.

Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska native children have the highest rate of suicide, reaching around 26 percent per 100,000 teens in 2017.

If you or someone you know are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


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