Many people believe that suicide is just a teen and adult issue, but rates of child suicide are rising. As society forces kids to grow up earlier and earlier, our fear is that we will only see these rates continue to increase. The graph above is from a CDC report on the death of kids aged 10-14 from 1999 through 2014 (QuickStats: Death Rates for Motor Vehicle Traffic Injury, Suicide, and Homicide Among Children and Adolescents aged 10–14 Years — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1203. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6543a8). You can see from the graph that while auto accident deaths have decreased significantly and homicides have decreased slightly over that time period, the rate of death by suicide in these pre-teen and early teen children has MORE THAN DOUBLED.
If you know a child who is talking about suicide or showing suicidal tendencies, don’t ignore it! Find help today. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and find a mental health professional in your area that can help with your child. Err on the side of caution and don’t assume that just because the child is young that suicide is not a possibility. Unfortunately, the statistics show that it is a very real possibility!