The death of a child is most parents’ worst nightmare, one made even worse when it is self-inflicted. This very tragedy has become increasingly common among young people in recent years. And adults — parents, teachers, clinicians and politicians — should be asking why and what they can do to prevent it.
In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that after a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased dramatically — by 56 percent — between 2007 and 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents like car crashes.
“We’re in the middle of a full-blown mental health crisis for adolescents and young adults,” said Jean M. Twenge, research psychologist at San Diego State University and author of the book “iGen,” about mental health trends among those born since 1995. “The evidence is strong and consistent both for symptoms and behavior.”