1 In 4 Young People Are Reporting Suicidal Thoughts. Here's How to Help

September 11, 2020
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


According to recent data, suicidal ideation among young people has increased since last year. A national survey found about 25 percent of people ages 18 to 24 had seriously considered suicide in the last 30 days. Eleven percent of all adults surveyed had seriously considered suicide, with higher rates among Hispanic and Black respondents. Unlike other events, the COVID-19 pandemic is not limited to a particular place and time. "Nobody is immune to the stress of the pandemic," said Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation for the American Psychological Association. The economic crisis, racial injustice, and upcoming election are additional stressors. With these challenges, it is important to take care of your mental health. Instead of passively scrolling through social media, try connecting with others virtually or in person at a safe distance. If someone you care about becomes withdrawn, "You can say things like 'I'm worried about you,' and ask if they're eating, sleeping and taking care of themselves," said Wright. If needed, encourage them to seek help from a mental health provider, which has become easier with increased use of telehealth.

Spark Extra! Check out resources to support mental health and coping during COVID-19.