NewsCovering Kern County


New study finds teen suicide rates on the rise, teenage girls heavily impacted

Posted at 6:27 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 21:27:51-04

A new study has found that teen suicide rates are on the rise, and teenage girls are the most heavily impacted. 

The study, which was published in WebMD, shows a doubling since 2008 in the number of kids and teens who have been hospitalized for either attempted suicide or thoughts of suicide. 

The study showed an increase in all ages, specifically 12 to 14.

The study also indicated a more than 10 percent increase in children between the ages of five and 11.

The research, however, shifted when it came to gender. Young girls made up nearly two-thirds of attempted suicides and suicidal thoughts. 

Ellen Eggert with the Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services urges parents at home to sit down and have a conversation about suicide with their children.

"You need to talk to your kids about suicide," Eggert said. 

She added that now, more than ever is a perfect time to start that conversation. 

"The rate has tripled since 2008 to 2015 and it's probably been higher in the past but there's less stigma for our teens talking about it," she said. 

However, a facility dedicated to teens battling suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety has set out to help as much as possible. 

Aspire Behavioral Center accepts clients as young as 12-years-old. Yessica Avancenn, the founder of the center, says most of the patients she sees are young girls battling depression. 

"I believe right now the youth is experiencing a lot of psychosocial stressors which really have to do with a lot of harshness with social media that they have to really learn to manage, cope and overcome. It's definitely a different world out there," Avancenn said. 

The full study can be seen here

Anyone who would like to receive help from Aspire Behavioral Center is encouraged to call (661) 829-7300. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.