The Suicide Rate Among American Youth Has Hit Its Highest Level Since 2000

Suicide rates for 15-24 year-olds reached their highest point in almost 20 years in 2017.

Suicide rates for 15-24 year-olds reached their highest point in almost 20 years in 2017, according to a new Harvard Medical School study cited by CNN.

The rise was especially dramatic on males and on those below 20 years-old, according to the study, which was published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.

"Our new information shows that suicide [among] adolescents has reached its highest recorded level, and it shows that there's especially an increase in recent years in adolescent males. The data shows that it is a very real threat," said Oren Miron, one of the paper’s authors.

The suicide rate for 15-19-year-olds climbed from 8 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 11.8 per 100,000 in 2017. For those between 20 and 24, the rate hiked from 12.5 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 17 per 100,000 in 2017.

In absolute terms, 6,241 people in that age group committed suicide two years ago, 80 percent of whom were male.

Speaking about the study’s findings, Emory University psychiatry professor Nadine Kaslow said, "I don't think it's the using of technology that's the problem, but I think it can be how that affects your relationships and the cyberbullying issue. There's growing evidence now that cyberbullying is associated with depression, with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and even death by suicide."

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We need to remember these children have never known peacetime and are faced with economic and environmental crises that can no longer be averted. What, pray tell, do they have to live for? I am not endorsing suicide, but we must look at their circumstances and whether or not they should feel hope for their future...