Gun Suicides Are Rising Steeply Among American Youth

Gun Suicides Are Rising Steeply Among American Youth
Posted on Jun 14 2021
HealthDay

A rising number of young Americans, including children, are taking their own lives using firearms, a new study finds. Researchers found that between 2008 and 2018, gun suicides showed an "alarming" increase among Americans aged 5 to 24. The rate among kids under 15 quadrupled during the study period. The study looked specifically at suicide by firearms, and those suicides spiked by 50% among 15- to 24-year-olds. The findings highlight the fact that guns are a public health issue, according to Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI CMO. "We know that access to firearms is a risk factor for suicide," Duckworth said. There is also a correlation between U.S. states' gun ownership numbers and suicide rates, he noted. Research shows that suicide rates tend to be highest in states with the most gun owners, and lowest in states with the fewest. Duckworth, who reviewed the findings, said the study provides important information. "We've known that youth suicide is on the rise," he said. "This is looking at the means."