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Suicide Risk Skyrockets in Teens with Prior Self-Harm

April 27, 2018

Written by Clay Smith

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Risk of completed suicide in young adults or adolescents was much higher in the year following a self-harm event, especially if by a violent means.

Why does this matter?
When a teen has self-harm behaviors that are not life-threatening, does this really matter?  Isn’t this just a “gesture” or form of “release” for the teen?  Or does it indicate a more serious problem?

Just a gesture?
The risk of completed suicide in the year following a non-fatal episode of self-harm was 26.7 times greater than the baseline adjusted risk for this age group.  Adolescents and young adults were at even greater risk if the non-fatal self-harm event was by a violent means, especially with use of a firearm, or if they were American Indian or Alaskan natives.

Suicide After Deliberate Self-Harm in Adolescents and Young Adults.  Pediatrics. 2018 Mar 19. pii: e20173517. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-3517. [Epub ahead of print]

Peer reviewed by Thomas Davis

What are your thoughts?