Depressive symptoms and suicide attempts increase in teenagers

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Goodfellow Gems

Depressive symptoms and suicide attempts increase in teenagers

This study from Youth19 Rangatahi1 (high school students) is a repeat of surveys done in 2001, 2007, and 2012. It indicates a large rise in depressive symptoms (not actual depression as such) from 13% in 2012 to 22.7% overall in 2019. Suicide attempts have increased from 2.2% to 5% in the same time period. 

Depressive symptoms have increased from 19.5% to 38.5% in Māori females and 8.5% to 18.6% in Māori males. Suicide attempts have increased from 9.6% to 16.8% in Māori females and 3.1% to 8.7% in Māori males. Similar figures were seen for Pacific male and female teenagers. 

There was a strong socio-economic gradient for neighbourhood deprivation with overall suicide attempts being 2.8 in low deprivation areas to 10.8 in high areas. 

Participants in rural areas have slightly better mental health than urban, although small towns did not fare well. 

Reference:

  1. Youth19 Rangatahi Smart Survey initial findings  (2020) View here

Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr Bruce Arroll to be either practice-changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.



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