Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Study reveals worrying suicide trends in teens

Published:Wednesday | November 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The last 12 months have seen adolescents either considering or making plans to end their lives, and this is significantly higher among females.

This was revealed in a 2017 Global School Health Survey and Rapid Situation Assessment, which was conducted by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA).

The study showed that 32.3 females seriously considered attempting suicide, in comparison to 17.4 per cent males. In terms of those who actually made a plan to take their lives, the findings show 31 per cent females accounted for this, in comparison to 18 males, while 21 per cent of females and 15 per cent of males actually came close to committing suicide.

Uki Atkinson, research analyst at the NCDA, told The Gleaner that it was imperative that urgent work be done to address the situation in order to save the nation's youth.

"A quarter of our students are saying that they contemplated suicide. Another quarter said that they made a plan. Those statistics require urgent attention. The reason for drug use is as a result of stress, and I would also associate suicide attempts with that. It was also associated with loneliness, it was associated with being bullied, and the data showed that," she said.

"Suicide attempts in the past year are quite high, and it is significantly higher among females than males, almost double. It is standard across the grades, so it's not really saying the younger or older students, it is quite similar across the board."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com