Teen Suicide Studies
Ken Duckworth, M.D.
on Mental Illness (NAMI) Alliance
September 7, 2007
Teen suicide is an often preventable tragedy. It is an appropriate focus of research and inquiry. Two new studies focused on the issue raise both important clinical and policy questions.
In the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers looked at children and teen suicide rates in the
One possibility is that the FDA "black box warning" on the use of antidepressants with children and adolescents has reduced access to a useful (but risky on rare occasions) treatment—with bad outcomes as a result. It will take more study and time to fully assess how central this element of the rate increase is. NAMI will
NAMI favors fully informed consent about the risks and benefits of all treatments and the often overlooked risk of no treatment of all—along with careful monitoring of individuals who have suicidal concerns and a comprehensive treatment plan that looks at all aspects of a child’s or teenager’s life in order to maximize their chances of a safe recovery from depression or other psychiatric illnesses.
Also this week, the Center for Disease Control released a report documenting that the rate of suicide in teenage girls is increasing. Again, this could have many causes but it will be important to follow in terms of whether it is a clear and persistent trend or an anomaly.
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