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New research reveals that suicide-related admissions to emergency room (ER) hospital departments jumped across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among adolescent girls.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report a 50.6 percent increase among girls aged between 12 and 17 years old over the course of February 21 to March 20 in 2021.

This spike was reported when comparing the same rates among the same demographic in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Closer inspection of the data reveals that compared with the same demographic in 2019, there was a 31 percent increase in the proportion of mental health related ER hospital visits among children within the 12 to 17 year age range in 2020 -- showcasing an increase in mental health-related ER visits as the pandemic wears on.

Within the same 2020 timeframe, mental illness-related emergency room visits specifically among adolescent girls continued to rise in comparison to rates from 2019.

Among their male counterparts, there was a smaller increase of 3.7 percent during the same time.

Data was sourced from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP).

"The findings from this study suggest more severe distress among young females than has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention to, and prevention for, this population," the report discussion reads.

Researchers note that while ER admissions for suicide among young girls increased, deaths caused by suicide did not. Mortality data associated with this demographic and timeframe saw an overall decrease in the suicide rate from the months of July to September of 2019 to the same months in 2020.

Many reasons as to why this demographic's mental health is so impacted by the pandemic have been discussed. Researchers acknowledge that young people may be a higher risk group for mental health problems, including suicidal ideation, due to the nature of public health mitigation measures and how they disrupt daily lives, namely a lack of contact with peers at schools and other social activities.

These efforts, while effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission, are inherently isolating, and increase barriers to mental health treatment for anxiety and depression.

Comment: The efforts are not really all that effective at preventing transmission, but the evidence that they cause harm is well documented.

Other risk factors in suicide are an increase in substance usage and concern over family health and financial wellbeing, all of which occurred during the pandemic.

The CDC notes that suicide prevention is multifaceted; preventing difficult childhood experiences, limiting access to dangerous weapons and substances, as well as economic support for families are all efforts that reduce the risk of youth suicide.

"Widely implementing these comprehensive prevention strategies across the United States, including adapting these strategies during times of infrastructure disruption, such as during the pandemic, can contribute to healthy development and prevent suicide among young persons," the report concludes.