More and more children end up in the hospital because they try to kill themselves or they suffer from a crisis consisting of suicidal behavior. However, the scope of the problem can’t be measured because the Canadian data is too incomplete, according to a Montreal researcher who has studied the issue says.
Suicide attempts or thoughts also increased as a proportion of all pediatric emergency room visits, from 2.17 percent to 3.5 percent. The findings come from public health data maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and analyzed by Burstein and two Montreal Children’s Hospital colleagues, Holly Agostino, and Brian Greenfield.
In Canada, there is no availability of comparable national data as Burstein said, but a similar trend is occurring based on the existent evidence. In this hospital, he noted that emergency room visits for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts have been increasing since 2015, being now 55 percent higher. Now, two percent of the visits in the emergency room is because of that.
More and more Canadian kids present suicidal behavior each year
Burstein says that in Montreal models they can certainly see the experience they are seeing in the study as the age of the patient population tends towards being smaller and smaller. Burstein is also an associate investigator with the McGill University Health Centre’s child health and human development program.
“It’s reasonable to call this a pediatric mental health crisis,” he said.
One of the most disturbing findings that emerged from the American data, according to Burstein’s point of view, was that out of all children that were taken to the emergency department, 43 percent were between the ages of five and 12.
The changes in this situation should bring awareness to parents who are responsible for the mental health of their children.