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Research Letter
February 17, 2020

Trends in US Suicide Deaths, 1999 to 2017, in the Context of Suicide Prevention Legislation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End of Life Practices, Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.6066

Burstein et al1 have reported that visits to US hospital emergency departments (EDs) for suicide attempts (SA) or suicide ideation (SI) doubled among youth aged 5 to 18 years between 2007 and 2015. The question remains whether this trend is paralleled by an increase in suicides. The United States has greatly invested in youth suicide prevention during this period. If only ED visits increased but not suicide mortality, this would suggest that prevention activities resulted in more youths seeking help in EDs. However, if suicide had an increase similar to SA/SI, this might suggest that more needs to be done or new approaches need to be undertaken. We examine if suicide rates had increasing trends similar to the increase in SA/SI ED visits.

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