Suicide Rates Among America’s Young Men Continue to Rise

One possible reason for the uptick might be cyberbullying

Male suicide
The vast majority of suicides among young people are male. (Getty)
Getty Images

The suicide rate among 15- to 24-year-olds climbed in 2017 to its highest point since 2000, but the figure is especially alarming among young men, who are taking their own lives in alarming numbers.

“In high school, a friend of mine was bullied, and he unfortunately took his life,” the author of the study, Oren Miron, told CNN. “He had such a brilliant future ahead of him, if he just made it two more years through high school.

“[Now] our new information shows that suicide [among] adolescents has reached its highest recorded level, and it shows that there’s especially an increase in recent years in adolescent males” he continued. “he data shows that it is a very real threat.”

The study, published Tuesday in JAMA medical journal, took a look at deaths in this age group over those seven years from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Underlying Cause of Death database, according to CNN. It found that, among those aged 15 to 19, 8 per 100,000 people committed suicide in 2000. That number jumped to 17 per 100,000 in 2017.

There were 6,241 suicides among 15- to 24-year olds in 2017, the study learned, and 5,016 of them were men and boys.

What the researchers found is, unfortunately, “not a surprise,” to Nadine Kaslow, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine and chief psychologist at the Grady Health System in Atlanta.

The new research “adds a couple of points,” for Kaslow, who was not involved with the study. “One is noting this particular increase in young males and also in this younger age group of 15 to 19,” she told CNN.

“There have been a number of things that people have talked about lately,” she added, referring to speculation about why this increase has happened. “One is just sort of increasing rates of psychological pain or psychological distress in young people — more anxiety and more depression — and I think that’s for a number of reasons [like technology].

“I don’t think it’s the using of technology that’s the problem, but I think it can be how that affects your relationships and the cyberbullying issue.”

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