Lifestyle & Belief

Suicide: 1 in 25 teens attempt suicide each year


A new study has shown that about 1 in 25 young people have attempted suicide, a wake-up call for better mental health care.


Chris Graythen

About one in four US teens have attempted suicide a new study shows.

Researchers at Harvard University found that despite mental health care treatment, the teenage years are a particularly vulnerable period in a person's life.

The study looked data from 6,482 teens ages 13 to 18, and their parents, said MedPage Today.

The face to face interviews asked teens about feelings of depression, suicide and if they had ever planned or attempted to kill themselves.

Researchers found that 12 percent of teens thought about suicide and 80 percent of those had received some treatment for it.

Four percent had made plans to kill themselves and another four percent had actually tried.

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Reuters reported that treatment more often than not does not prevent suicidal thoughts from continuing.

"We know that a lot of the kids who are at risk and thinking about suicide are getting (treatment)," study co-author Matt Nock, told Reuters Health.

"We don't know how to stop them - we don't have any evidence-based treatments for suicidal behavior."

They also found that those teens with substance abuse issues were more likely to have thought about or attempted suicide.

The New York Times reported that this study is the first ever to show the ineffectiveness of therapy to prevent suicidal thoughts in teens.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people.