Health Care Professionals Can Help Prevent Teen Suicide

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents and is more frequent in urban teens who have experienced violence. A study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that suicide attempts are much more likely among victims of violence and sexual assault. Recent dating violence was also associated with suicide attempts among adolescent girls, and a lifetime history of sexual assault was linked to suicide attempts among adolescent boys.

The conclusions of the study suggested that pediatricians and family medicine doctors seeing teens include questions about violence, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidality as part of comprehensive health assessments of adolescent patients.

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