June 11, 2018, KGW8 Portland, OR: The teen suicide rate has more than doubled: Here's how you can help save your child https://www.kgw.com/article/news/nation-world/the-teen-suicide-rate-has-more-than-doubled-heres-how-you-can-help-save-your-child/507-563217462 Alarming new statistics show that our children are increasingly at risk of suicidal thoughts, attempts and deaths. A new study led by Vanderbilt University, published last month in the academic journal, Pediatrics, reports a more than doubling from 2008 to 2015 of school-age children and adolescents hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts. Just more than half were youth between the ages of 15-17, followed by those between the ages of 12-14 (37 percent), and those ranging in ages from 5-11 (nearly 13 percent). All told, suicide takes more lives of our youth than automobile accidents. But there’s more. The study also found two-thirds of children hospitalized for thinking about or trying to kill themselves were girls. But as we’ve seen with alarming frequency in national incidents of school gun violence, boys are more likely to die by suicide. The sad truth: Suicide among our youth ages 10-24 was the second leading cause of death, behind unintentional injuries, in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pace has quickened since 2006. This is a crisis in which adults — parents, family members, medical professionals, school officials, clergy and others — must intervene bravely and immediately. … Media consumption has an impact A 2017 study co-authored by Joiner and published in Clinical Psychological Science investigated increased media use — social media, news on the Internet, computer and video games, etc. — and learned it is a potential contributor to the national jump in suicide rates among adolescents. School angst School-year angst also plays a part. The Vanderbilt study found suicidal thoughts and attempts peak in the fall and spring when many teenagers’ performance pressures, college-entrance exams, AP tests, auditions and competitions are off the charts. The rejection children feel when they are cut from a team or not selected for a school play fires a physical and painful response in the brain, Joiner reported. Sleep deprivation, especially during the school year, can be a factor because it impacts a child’s judgment and decision making. Substance abuse is a consideration, especially because it fuels impulsiveness, too.