WARNING: This article discusses several aspects of the rise in suicide among teenagers.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, please remember help is always available.
Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
In the midst of the teenage mental health crisis in the U.S., which has triggered a rapidly increasing national rate of suicide among 10-19 year-olds, the dire truth is now finally out there:
There are far too few professionally-qualified and licensed child psychiatrists or available in-patient psychiatric beds in the U.S. to be able to cope with the number of suicidal teenagers requiring immediate professional psychiatric care, and it will be years and years before this situation improves.
Teenage suicide is preventable. Suicide rates for at-risk youth can be substantially reduced by a greater public awareness of the warning signs, reducing the possible methods teenagers use to succeed in their attempt, and improved and wider access to adolescent mental health resources.
However, right now, the U.S. healthcare system is clearly failing those teenagers who are feeling so desperate they are now suicidal, and the rising suicide rates seen during the last decade or so prove the fact beyond doubt.
“The lack of access to psychiatric care has been a problem for a long time, it’s not improving because of the increasing demand for care of our nation’s youth. We have a lousy system of care.”
– Dr. Wun Jung Kim, child psychiatrist and professor, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.