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Home > Research Articles > Government study shows significant suicide-risk problem among youngsters 12-17

Associated Press

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Government study shows significant suicide-risk problem among youngsters 12-17 Associated Press - July 14, 2002 WASHINGTON (AP) - Close to 3 million Americans age 12 to 17 considered suicide in 2000 and more than a third of those tried to kill themselves, a government survey found.

Girls were almost twice as likely as boys to have thought about or tried to commit suicide, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse report.

The study, released Sunday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that only one in three of those who reported considering suicide or trying to kill themselves received counseling.

``Research has demonstrated that the most effective way to prevent suicide is through the early identification and treatment of those at risk,'' the report said. ``Yet ... only 36 percent of youths at risk for suicide during the past year received mental health treatment during this same time period.''

White, black, Hispanic and Asian youths reported similar rates of suicide risk, the report said. Youths in Western states were the most at risk - almost 14 percent - followed by young people in the South, 13 percent; the Midwest, 12 percent; and the Northeast, 11 percent.

In all, the study showed that 9 percent of children age 12-13 considered or tried to commit suicide in 2000. The percentage for teenagers 14-15 and 16-17 was 13.7 percent for each age group.

The study also found that youngsters who had used alcohol or illicit drugs during the year were much more likely to have had suicidal thoughts.

On the Net: Report: http://www.samhsa.gov/oas/2k2/suicide/suicide.htm Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.