Year: 2022 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2022), 52(5), 983-993. SIEC No: 20221121
Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased distress at a societal level, with youth and young people bearing a disproportionate burden. A series of recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports has highlighted emergency department (ED) visit rates for suicide attempts among youth ages 12–25 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study expands those analyses by adding race and ethnicity to the examination of suspected suicide attempts among youth. Methods This study uses National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) data for Wisconsin from hospitals that consistently reported ED visits between the study period of January 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021. Suspected suicide attempt visits were identified using the CDC-developed suicide attempt query. Results During the study period, there were 8915 ED visits for suicide attempts by children and youth ages 12–25 in Wisconsin's NSSP system. We confirm gendered patterns of ED visit rates for suspected suicide attempts among youth that were first noted in studies using a non-representative national dataset. Large and significant 2019 vs. 2021 increases were noted for Black females ages 12–17 (79% increase) and White non-Hispanic females ages 12–17 (58%), but no significant change for Hispanic females ages 12–17. Black females ages 18–25 had high and relatively stable rates throughout this period.