September is suicide prevention month and according to a June CDC survey on mental health, 1 in 4 youth ages 18 to 24 said they had "seriously considered" suicide in the past 30 days—more than twice as high as any other age group. The tragic fact is that more youth die from suicide than any other cause.
Even before the pandemic, and the headlines that highlight our nation’s history of racial injustice and violence, there was a mental health crisis driven by social determinants tied to structural inequality and a youth culture that equates fame with merit, and wealth with value.
Between 2006 and 2011, there was a 104% increase in inpatient visits for suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-injury for children ages 1-17 years old, and a 151% increase for children ages 10-14. As is so often the case, children tell us the truth of our world before the press do.
The breadth, quality, and consciousness of our response to the unprecedented numbers of children who are hurting themselves is unfortunately failing. This report is just out from the Commonwealth Fund. It includes a California scorecard and shows California is failing on children's mental health and preventive care, ranking 48th in the nation for “Children Who Did Not Receive Needed Mental Health Care.”
Join us in raising awareness and taking action on legislation on the governor's desk now - read the next blog in this series to learn more.
[This is an excerpt from California Children's Trust monthly Newsletter. Click here to view the original newsletter in its entirety.]