A new study
of teens dealing with mental health issues has uncovered a depressing fact: most teens harboring suicidal thoughts decide to act on those thoughts only after
they begin receiving treatment. It's news that "casts doubt
" on the value of the treatment strategies currently adopted by mental health professionals.
The Harvard research team behind the counterintuitive finding looked at the behavior of nearly 6,500 teenagers, and revealed that 55% of those with suicidal tendencies made the attempt to end their lives after first being counseled by a mental health specialist. Furthermore, the specialists were unable to prevent the suicide attempt from taking place. The data collected also showed that fear, anger, substance abuse, and stress were all strong predictors of suicidal behavior.
"Most suicidal adolescents reported that they had entered into treatment with a mental health specialist before the onset of their suicidal behaviors," said a psychologist at New York City's Montefiore Medical Center, "which means that while our treatments may be preventing some suicidal behaviors, it clearly is not yet good enough at reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviors."
the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death among US adolescents, behind homicides and "unintentional injuries" such as car crashes.
Via womenshealth.gov and the CDC