- Humber Student Federation holds carnival to end semester
- Syrian ceasefire begins, troops remain
- Supervised drug facilities may be coming to Toronto
- Lack of participation cancels Recycle Race at Humber
- March employment numbers surprise economists
- OPP's 2011 traffic stats show decrease in deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions
|Suicide rate rises for teen girls, study says||| Print ||
|Written by Jillian Cecchini|
|Tuesday, 03 April 2012 11:50|
Suicide rates are increasing for teen girls aged 10-19 but decreasing for boys of the same age, according to an article published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Robin Skinner and Steve McFaull of the Public Health Agency of Canada used Statistics Canada and analyzed mortality data from 1980 to 2008, establishing a pattern of suicides among young Canadian people. Results found an annual decrease of one per cent but an increase in suicide by suffocation. Deaths involving poison and firearms decreased during the study period.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, the authors said the results show the traditional patterns of suicide among children and adolescents are changing.
In 1980, 249 males and 50 females between ages 10-19 committed suicide in Canada, according to the study. By 2008, that number had fallen to 156 for males but rose to 77 for females. For children aged 10-14, the rate was 1.2 per 100 000 deaths, with suffocation leading to 88 per cent of that number.
“The trends here are disturbing and that’s why we wanted to publish the results,” Skinner, lead author of the report, told the Globe and Mail. “There’s reason to be concerned any time there is a suicide.”
The Public Health Agency says suffocation has become the leading method of suicide among teens of both sexes, although the study authors note that an increase in popularity of the choking game, in which adolescents aim to induce a euphoric effect by temporarily depriving their brains of oxygen, may account for deaths being misclassified as suicides when the actual death is from a fatal round of this game.
Skinner and McFaull said the term ‘cybersuicide’ has evolved to describe the numerous websites, chat rooms, and blogs promoting suicide. Social networking websites and discussion forums may expose young people to information about suicide and influence the choice of method among those who attempt it.
“The prevalence and influence of the Internet and social media in the lives of young Canadians cannot be discounted in this discussion and warrants further research to understand its risks related to the suicide,” said the authors in the study.
Facebook decided to step into the fray by offering help to those who may be having suicidal thoughts. In December 2011, the company launched changes that allow any user to highlight content from a friend they believe may be the result of suicidal thoughts or behaviour. The tool could make the difference in a person’s decision to take his or her own life.
Health Canada says factors that make an individual vulnerable to suicidal behaviour include:
Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites