Youth suicide rates increase 71%

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - According to a report released today by the “Trust for America’s Health” organization the youth suicide rate increased 71% in the last 10 years. Deaths of teens from alcohol use and drug overdose increased 65% in the same time span. TFAH compiled their findings from official CDC reports.

At the same time, the Surgeon General is issuing a National Advisory calling for immediate action in regard to social media’s impact on young people’s mental health. They’ve included tips on how to protect yourself and your kids from the harms of social media.

“These rates are unacceptably high. This is not just a youth mental health crisis, this is a mental health crisis across the country,” says Brandon Reavis of TFAH.

Many parents are concerned with their kids’ use of social media. Up to 95% of children between the ages of 13 and 17 reported using social media, with more than a third saying social media use is almost constant.

Reavis says there needs to be more research done to assess the risks associated with social media use. He also highlights that social media can have a positive impact by allowing individuals to connect to others with similar life experiences. He also explains that it’s important to have open conversations with your kids about mental health and teach them about the risk of using social media.

“We do have evidence-based programs and policies that can address and hopefully reverse these trends, the issue now is to develop the political will for policy makers to implement and invest in strategies over the long term,” explains Reavis.

He also hopes to see a cultural change to reduce the stigma of mental health issues. Additionally, Reavis says investing in social and economic conditions—like ensuring stable housing, food supply, and transportation are policies that could make an overall positive impact on mental health.