Teen thoughts of suicide skyrocket

Hollywood, Fla. – Nearly 20 percent of high school students have admitted to serious thoughts of suicide and 9 percent have made an attempt to take their lives according to the National Alliance on Mental Health

Dr. Celine Hamilton heads the Children and Adolescent Treatment Services, or C.A.T.S., Behavioral Unit at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

She said they’ve seen a 115% increase in the number of kids submitted for suicidality in the past two years.

“Everyone went back to school a year ago but they were behind from COVID, everybody is still struggling academically and because they were depressed during COVID and struggling academically and they’ve gone back and are still struggling they’re in significant need for mental health care, however, this uptick in need hasn’t been met with increased resources,” Hamilton said.

The C.A.T.S. unit has applied for funding to increase both staffing at the hospital and to continue to connect with children after they’ve been dismissed to make sure they’ve received the services they need.

September is an important month to talk about mental health and the prevention of suicide: September 10, 2022 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

And a recent study finds that marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults reached an all-time high last year, reaching historic levels among 19-to-30-year-olds not seen since 1988.

The N.I.H.-supported study also found that past-month vaping levels rebounded after an early pandemic drop.

Alcohol remains the most used substance among young adults in the study.

Heavy drinking has been steadily increasing in this age group over the past decade, reaching its highest level last year since first measured in 2005.

Resources available 24/7: The Florida Initiative For Suicide Prevention by dialing 954-384-0344 or the National Suicide Hotline by dialing 800-273-8255.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.