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NBC: More Girls Are Attempting Suicide. It's Not Clear Why.

Posted 05/18/2018

Maggie Fox, NBC News

Emet Oden tried reaching out in the only way he knew how.

“I had been struggling with my mental health and, specifically, suicidal thoughts since the eighth grade,” said Oden, who is now 18.

“I didn’t want to talk to my friends about it, because they never knew how to handle it. I just didn’t want to bother them.”

He dropped heavy hints around some teachers he trusted, but they didn’t pick up on the cues.

“I was kind of hunched. Walking around, I just looked sad,” said Oden, who’s about to graduate from his high school in Nashville.

When a teacher asked him how he was doing, he answered that he was fine, while wishing that someone would press a little deeper. But no one did.

Oden attempted suicide a little over a year ago. He’s part of a growing number of teens and children who are thinking about or even attempting suicide.

A new study out Wednesday finds that more kids are either thinking about or attempting suicide.

Click here for the entire story.

“When we looked at hospitalizations for suicidal ideation and suicidal encounters over the last decade, essentially 2008 to 2015, we found that the rates doubled among children that were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or activity,” Dr. Gregory Plemmons of Vanderbilt University told NBC News.

Plemmons and colleagues analyzed a database of visits at 49 children’s hospitals for kids aged 5 to 17.

Although suicide ideation — thinking about suicide — and suicide attempts accounted for just 1 percent of all hospital visits, the numbers have steadily increased,

Half of the encounters involved teens aged 15 to 17; 37 percent were 12 to 14; and almost 13 percent were children aged 5 to 11 years. Girls made up nearly two-thirds of the cases.

That’s at the same time that actual suicide deaths are up, too, so it’s not a case of awareness alone, the researchers said.

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