Doctor’s Notes: Youth Suicide is on the Rise, Even Among the Very Young

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Parents often don’t take talk of suicide by young children seriously because they think kids don’t understand the concept.
But they do. Photo Credit: iStock

In June the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that suicide in the United States had increased in all age groups since the beginning of the century.

Seeing that report, I asked a handful of my pediatric colleagues if they had current patients with suicidal thoughts. Three responded yes, including one with a 12-year-old patient in intensive care from hanging himself. He later died.

He was the second pre-teen to die from hanging admitted to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in South Los Angeles in the past year.