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Children's Health Council

News related to: suicide

Adolescent Suicide Rate hits 20-Year High

Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates the suicide rate for teens ages 15 to 19 is at its highest point in 20 years, and that suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for that age group. Read more ›

NIMH-Funded Study Finds “13 Reasons Why” Associated with Increase in Youth Suicide Rates

The Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was associated with a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in the month (April 2017) following the show’s release, after accounting for ongoing trends in suicide rates, according to a study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The findings highlight the necessity of using best practices when portraying suicide in popular entertainment and in the media. The study was conducted by researchers at several universities, hospitals, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIMH also funded the study. Read more ›

More U.S. Youth Seeking Help During Psychiatric Emergencies

The number of young people visiting U.S. emergency rooms with psychiatric problems is rising, driven largely by a surge in teens and minority youth seeking urgent help for mental illnesses, a new study suggests. Read more ›

Social Media Linked to Rise in Mental Health Disorders in Teens, Survey Finds

Mental health issues have risen significantly over the last decade and the rise of digital media may be one reason why, according to a national survey released on March 14. Read more ›

CHC and Stanford Children’s Health Launch Expanded Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for High School Teens Facing Severe Mental Health Challenges

Just over a year ago, CHC opened its doors to a new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for teens in Palo Alto. Now, in collaboration with Stanford Children’s Health, the program is expanding to serve more adolescents struggling with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, severe anxiety and depression.

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With Depression and Suicide Rates on the Rise, National Survey Reveals Complex Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Well-Being

A national survey of 14- to 22-year-olds provides new evidence on the growing mental health crisis affecting young people. The survey, sponsored by Hopelab and Well Being Trust (WBT), finds that large numbers of teens and young adults experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of depression are turning to the internet for help, including researching mental health issues online (90 percent), accessing other people’s health stories through blogs, podcasts, and videos (75 percent), using mobile apps related to well-being (38 percent), and connecting with health providers through digital tools such as texting and video chat (32 percent).  Read more ›

Sex and Drugs Decline Among Teens, but Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Grow

One in seven high school students reported misusing prescription opioids, one of several disturbing results in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide survey of teenagers that revealed a growing sense of fear and despair among youth in the United States.

The numbers of teenagers reporting “feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” suicidal thoughts, and days absent from school out of fear of violence or bullying have all risen since 2007. The increases were particularly pointed among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students. Read more ›

CDC: U.S. Suicide Rates Have Climbed Dramatically

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent. Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016. Read more ›

13 Reasons Why Season 2 | Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
While the official release date has yet to be announced, a select audience in LA will be screening season two of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why this weekend, and buzz about the series abounds. Read more ›

Rally to Prevent Suicide in Washington D.C.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention (NCSP) is leading a rally to prevent suicide at the U.S. Capitol on April 21 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET to advocate for government support for suicide prevention efforts. Read more ›

Pediatricians Call For Universal Depression Screening For Teens

Only about 50 percent of adolescents with depression get diagnosed before reaching adulthood. And as many as 2 in 3 depressed teens don’t get the care that could help them. To address this divide, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued updated guidelines this week that call for universal screening for depression. Read more ›

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year. Surveys that look at symptoms related to anxiety are also telling. Read more ›

Young Victims of Cyberbullying Twice as Likely to Attempt Suicide and Self-Harm

Children and young people under-25 who become victims of cyberbullying are more than twice as likely to enact self-harm and attempt suicide than non-victims.

While perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to experience suicidal thoughts and behaviors, researchers say.

The study, which is a collaboration of a number of researchers from across the United Kingdom (UK) including the University of Birmingham, looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries, over a 21-year period. Read more ›

Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Linked to Suicidal Thoughts

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health associate research professor John W. Ayers delved into Americans’ Internet search history in the days after the series 13 Reasons Why aired. He found that queries about suicide and how to commit suicide spiked in the show’s wake. Read more ›

Burden of Physical Health Conditions Linked to Increased Risk of Suicide

 Each year, more than 45,000 people die by suicide and in the past 15 years, the suicide mortality rate has risen by an alarming 24%. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examines how illness plays a role in suicide risk. Researchers found that 17 physical health conditions, ailments such as back pain, diabetes, and heart disease, were associated with an increased risk of suicide. Two of the conditions — sleep disorders and HIV/AIDS — represented a greater than twofold increase, while traumatic brain injury made individuals nine times more likely to die by suicide. Read more ›

Suicides in Teen Girls Hit a 40-Year High

The suicide rate among teenage girls continues to rise and hit a 40-year high in 2015, according to a new analysis released Thursday.

Suicide rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys and young men between 2007 and 2015, the updated breakdown from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds. Read more ›

CHC in the Press: Online Searches About Suicide Climbed After ’13 Reasons Why’ Premiere

Internet searches related to suicide increased 19% in the three weeks after the premiere of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, found new research. That increase translated to approximately 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than would be expected without the show. Read more ›

Facebook’s High-Stakes Dilemma Over Suicide Videos

Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope have made videos simpler for people to share online, but now these companies are in a race against time to respond quickly to posts depicting self-harm — before they go viral.

Balancing the risks of suicide contagion with free speech, newsworthiness and other factors, these companies’ complex decisions to leave a video up or pull it down can mean the difference between life and death for people attempting suicide. Read more ›

‘Alarming’ Rise in Children Hospitalized with Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

The percentage of younger children and teens hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions in the United States doubled over nearly a decade, according to new research.

A steady increase in admissions due to suicidality and serious self-harm occurred at 32 children’s hospitals across the nation from 2008 through 2015, the researchers found. The children studied were between the ages of 5 and 17, and although all age groups showed increases, the largest uptick was seen among teen girls. Read more ›

13 Reasons Why: Important Update

Dear Friends of CHC:
 
Just as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why was beginning to air in early April, we sent out a note of concern.

 One month later, we are learning that this is the most talked about show on social media and that it is more concerning than was originally thought. Two IOP teen therapists from CHC’s Adolescent Mental Health Services Department, Dr. Anna Parnes and Jennifer Leydecker advise, “If your kids have watched it or plan to watch it, it’s critical that you watch the program too so you are aware of the content.” For those of you who haven’t heard, the show is a fictional account of a teenage girl, Hannah, who dies by suicide and leaves behind audio tapes outlining the 13 people she blames for her death. We strongly suggest parent caution, monitoring and dialogue about the program and its topics of suicide, survivor guilt, sexual assault and bullying and shaming. 

Read more ›

CDC Releases Final Report on Youth Suicide in Santa Clara County

In 2016-17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted an investigation of youth suicide in Santa Clara County. The purpose of the investigation, called an Epi-Aid, was to utilize existing data to develop specific prevention and control recommendations on youth suicide prevention that can be used at the school, city, and county levels.

The Centers for Disease Control have released their final report to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Read more ›

NIH Panel Develops 10-Year Plan for Preventing Youth Suicide

More than 42,000 Americans die from suicide each year. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in youth (10 to 24 years of age) and young adults (25 to 34 years of age), claiming the lives of 12,073 individuals in these age brackets in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Risk factors such as depression, other mental disorders, and substance use, along with precipitating events such as relationship loss or disruption; and environmental circumstances like barriers to accessing mental health treatment, can contribute to suicidal behavior.

An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a 10-year roadmap for advancing research to prevent youth suicide. The panel listed 29 recommendations that address three critical issues: improving data systems, enhancing data collection and analysis methods, and strengthening the research and practice community. Read more ›

Suicide Survivors Urge Open Conversations, Awareness Around Mental Health

Five women whose lives have been intimately, irreversibly touched by youth suicide — two by their own attempts and three by deaths of family members — spoke candidly about their experiences on a panel in Palo Alto Wednesday night, urging others to speak with the same candor about the oft-silenced topics of suicide and mental illness.

“Talking about suicide is what we all need to start doing, and talking about mental health conditions,” said Mary Ojakian, a Palo Alto resident whose son died by suicide as a college student in 2004. “That is where we need to go: understanding and awareness, which is pretty easy to get, for everyone.”

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Teen Suicide is Contagious, and the Problem is Worse Than We Thought

Riley knew of at least two of the kids who had killed themselves the previous winter: an older girl at school (they had mutual friends) and a boy in her Christian youth group. Such peripheral connections are all that seem to connect most of the kids in the area who had killed themselves, and school and county officials began to worry they were witnessing a copycat effect…until copycat became too weak a word. It was more like an outbreak, a plague spreading through school hallways. Read more ›

CHC Launches Mental Health Initiative for Teens — Expands Affordable Teen Therapy, Community Education and Engagement

Media Contact: 

Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650-867-7929, gbheron@mac.com

Palo Alto, CA July 29, 2016 — Children’s Health Council (CHC) today launches the CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative, focused on teen anxiety, depression and suicide. The CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative is an integrated program of community engagement, mental health education and affordable teen therapy, all aimed at preventing teen suicides and increasing the mental wellness of teens. The CHC Teen Mental Health Initiative will include comprehensive mental health education for parents, teens and schools to raise awareness of mental health issues, remove the stigma around discussing them, and educate the community about signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression and suicide for earlier identification and intervention. Read more ›

Gunn Grad Leads Local Crisis Text Line Effort

Libby Craig, a Palo Alto native and Gunn High School graduate, spent four hours every Sunday night for several months this year as a volunteer crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential, 24/7 support service accessible nationwide by simply texting the number 741741. Recently, she joined the nonprofit organization full time and is leading Crisis Text Line’s efforts to grow the service in the Bay Area, in part in response to the youth suicide clusters in her own hometown. Read more ›

Kids in Crisis: One-Third of California 11th-Graders Surveyed Say They Are Chronically Sad

In a potential crisis crossing demographic lines, one-third of California’s 11th-graders and one-quarter of seventh-graders reported feeling chronically sad or hopeless over the past 12 months, a survey released on July 18 showed.

 The California Healthy Kids Survey also found that about 19 percent of both ninth-graders and 11th-graders seriously considered attempting suicide.

Among the questions, students were asked if they felt so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more that it stopped them from doing usual activities — symptoms of depression. Their answers, compared with the previous survey two years ago, represented a 1 percentage-point increase for ninth-graders, and less than a percentage point increase for seventh and 11th-graders.

Read more ›

Epi-Aid Preliminary Report on Youth Suicide

In November of 2015, the California Department of Public Health, on behalf of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist our community in better understanding youth suicide in Santa Clara County.

 In partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the CDC is conducting an Epi-Aid investigation on youth suicide. Using a public health approach, the purpose of this Epi-Aid is to understand the characteristics and trends of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behavior among youth in Santa Clara County.

Read more ›

Facebook Rolls Out Suicide-Prevention Tools Globally

Facebook is rolling out worldwide tools aimed at preventing suicide, expanding its reach beyond the United States. Working with mental health groups such as Forefront, Lifeline and SAVE.org, Facebook started working on suicide prevention about a decade ago after a string of teen suicides in Palo Alto.

Since then, as Facebook has grown to 1.6 billion users worldwide, social media is playing a larger role in how people — especially teens — share their thoughts and lives with others. Read more ›

Youth Suicide Rates Have Climbed Since 1999, Data Show

Stunning increases in U.S. suicide rates for all ages gripped headlines today as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data on the subject.

Overlooked in many stories: While the numbers of suicides for children remain low compared to other populations, girls aged 10-14 had the highest growth in suicide rates of any group between 1999 and 2014, the most recent year reported in federal data. In that time, the rate of suicides for girls in that age group tripled, growing from 0.5 per 100,000 people to 1.5 per 100,000 people. Read more ›

Preventing Teen Suicide: Schools Target Asian Parental Expectations

A growing dialogue within Asian communities is playing out in many of the Bay Area’s high-performing school districts, but the challenge of easing student pressure is also raising tensions and even a backlash from parents and highly motivated students — who worry reforms might dumb down learning.

California’s Asian teen suicide rate has fluctuated over the years, but through 2013 — the latest figures available — generally remained below the rate of white teens. Educators and doctors, however, say the signs of stress are disturbing . . . Read more ›

Disturbing Suicide Cluster Prompts CDC to Start Investigation in Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemiological assistance team are scheduled to begin an investigation this week on the “suicide contagion” risk in a similar way they may investigate a viral or bacterial outbreak that spreads through a community. As federal officials arrive in Palo Alto, they will face a community that is trying to find innovative ways to combat suicide when it becomes a “contagion.” Read more ›

‘Changing the Tide’ on Youth Mental Illness

More than 300 local parents, educators, clinicians and community members gathered Tuesday morning to discuss ways to combat what one speaker called the “new norm” for teenagers in the area: alarmingly high rates of anxiety, stress, depression and death by suicide.

The Children’s Health Council (CHC), a Palo Alto nonprofit that supports youth with anxiety, depression, ADHD and learning differences through services and school sites, devoted an annual breakfast panel to the topics. CHC billed the event as a “call to action” for a community continuing to cope and learn from two separate youth suicide clusters in the last several years. Read more ›

CHC Breakfast to Focus on Teens In Crisis and What We Can Do About It

Media Contact:   

Micaelia Randolph, 707-933-7332, mrandolph@chconline.org
Yvonne Wolters, 650-867-7929, gbheron@mac.com

Palo Alto, CA, January 5, 2016 — Each year, Children’s Health Council (CHC) hosts a breakfast and panel discussion on a topic of interest to parents and the community. These events bring together well-known speakers, writers and professionals whose insights can help with the critical job of raising our children and teens. The 3rd CHC Breakfast in this series will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, Menlo Park from 8:30am – 11:00am. Tickets are $100 per person, and will include breakfast and an interactive panel discussion on the serious issue of teen anxiety and depression in our community and what we can do about it. The event is hosted by Co-Chairs Calla Griffith and Catherine Harvey, CHC, and its Board of Directors, with 100% of event proceeds going toward CHC’s Teen Initiative.

Read more ›