Researchers using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey found that the number of children who went to the emergency room for suicidal thoughts and attempts doubled between 2007 and 2015.
The study analyzed 300 emergency rooms, and patients between the ages of 5 and 18 they diagnosed with suicidal ideation or attempts. In 2007, the ERs received 580,000 such cases. In 2015, that number had rocketed up to 1.12 million.
“The numbers are very alarming,” Dr. Brett Burstein, the lead study author and a pediatric emergency room physician at Montreal Children’s Hospital of McGill University Health Centre told CNN. “It also represents a larger percentage of all pediatric emergency department visits. Where suicidal behavior among the pediatric population was just 2% of all visits, that’s now up to 3.5%.”