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Youth Suicide Up In NC, New Report Finds

Child Health Report Card 2019
NC Child and North Carolina Institute of Medicine

Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among kids in North Carolina ages 10 to 17, according to a report out today from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and advocacy group NC Child.

The analysis of state health statistics shows the suicide rate among kids of all ages nearly doubled over the past decade. Attempted suicide was a problem especially for students from marginalized groups.

Survey results included in the report showed black students were twice as likely as white students to have attempted suicide. And black students who recently experienced a depressive episode were 10 percent less likely to have received mental health treatment than their white peers. More than 40 percent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students have reported trying to kill themselves. That amounts to nearly triple the suicide rate among heterosexual students.

The report's authors recommend decreasing youth access to firearms and prescription drugs – and increasing access to mental health services.   

Lisa Philip is an occasional contributor to WUNC. Previously, she covered education for the station and covered schools in Howard County, Maryland for the Baltimore Sun newspapers.
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