Suicide rates among girls on the rise

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

After falling steadily since 1990, the rates of suicide among young girls went up -- in some age groups, significantly -- between 2003 and 2004, the latest period for which data is available. Whether this is an ongoing trend or an anomaly remains to be seen; hopefully, it was a fluke and rates will again fall.

There were 4,599 suicides in 2004, making it the number third largest cause of death after automobile accidents and homicide. "There's a lot of pressure in and around middle school kids. They're kind of all transition kids. They're turbulent times to begin with," said Richard Lieberman, who coordinates the suicide prevention program for Los Angeles public schools. "The hotline's been ringing off the hook with middle school kids experimenting with a wide variety of self-injurious behavior, exploring different ways to hurt themselves."

This is indeed a sad turn of events. Hopefully, this is just a temporary increase and the rate will again decrease. In the meantime, maybe this would be a good time to give your daughters a hug and tell them how much you love them.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.