Research Papers

Evaluation of Suicides Among US Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Summary: Trigger warning: This article and summary mentions suicide. This 2022 review of cause of death via death certificates unfortunately shows that downstream impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted United States adolescent and child rates of suicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a state of emergency in 2021 regarding the mental health of children and adolescents. This was due to suicide risk screenings yielding more positive results during the pandemic, and adolescents being impacted by the loss of primary caregivers. More than 140,000 children in the United States lost a primary and/or secondary caregiver during the pandemic. Through collobration with 14 US state departments of public health, the authors of this paper collected data from 2015 through 2019 (pre-pandemic period) and 2020 (pandemic period) for 85 102 decedents with their cause of death as suicide. When the data was aggregated across all of the 14 states included in the paper, overall suicides among adolescents increased during the pandemic period. The paper does not mention potential contributing factors to these figures and the deleterious mental health impacts during the pandemic, such as lockdowns and lack of social interaction.

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Article Publication Date: 25.04.22
DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.0515

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