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Could Melatonin Ease Self-Harm in Kids?

For depressed or anxious children, taking melatonin may afford a good night's sleep and, as a result, lower the odds they will harm themselves, new research suggests.

The risk of self-harm increased before melatonin was prescribed and decreased by about half after kids started taking the supplement,

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 27, 2023
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  • Vaping Tobacco or Weed Appears Tied to Higher Anxiety in Teens

    For decades, people turned to cigarettes in times of stress. Now, a preliminary study hints that young people are using vaping in the same way.

    The study, of nearly 2,000 U.S. teenagers and young adults, found that those who vaped nicotine or marijuana were more likely to report anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. In fact, a majority of vapers said they'd suffered anxiety or depress...

    Kids Visiting ER in Mental Crisis Often Get No Follow-Up

    A growing number of U.S. kids are landing in hospital emergency rooms for a mental health crisis. Now a new study finds that many do not get follow-up care after they're discharged.

    Experts said the findings, published Feb. 13 in the journal

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 13, 2023
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  • Big Rise in U.S. Teen Girls Reporting Violence, Sadness -- Far More Than Boys

    An alarming new survey shows that American teen girls are experiencing record high levels of violence, sadness and suicide risk.

    Schools may be the answer to improving what’s happening for young people, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    About 3 in 5 girls -- 57% -- said they felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021. That’s up 60...

    Suicides Rise Again in the US, Increases Highest Among Minorities

    MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) – Suicide rates have climbed again following a two-year decline, U.S. health officials report.

    The new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also described a shift in demographics of those dying by suicide in 2021.

    While rates among whi...

    When Schools Ask Students About Suicide, Those At Risk Get Help Sooner

    Could asking teens a simple, but pointed, question about their mental health reveal whether they are at risk for suicide?

    It might, new research suggests.

    Since suicide is now the second leading cause of death among American teens, any strategy that could lower that risk may be worth trying.

    ...

    Could Vitamin D Help Ward Off Suicide?

    A new study hints that treating low vitamin D levels with supplements might have a critical benefit for certain people: a decreased risk of attempting suicide.

    In a study of more than 1 million U.S. veterans, researchers found that those prescribed vitamin D were nearly 50% less likely to attempt suicide over eight years, versus those who were not prescribed the supplements.

    The ben...

    Suicide Risk Rises When Cancer Strikes

    A cancer diagnosis can be devastating.

    Now, new research shows that patients diagnosed with cancer have a risk of suicide 26% higher than the general population.

    A variety of factors contribute to the elevated risk, including geography, race and ethnicity, economic status and clinical characteristics, American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers found.

    The study also showed a dec...

    VA Announces Plan to Give Free Care to Any Vet in Suicide Crisis

    While U.S. veterans are already eligible for emergency suicidal crisis care, starting Tuesday they can get it for free.

    Care available at any VA facility or any private facility will include up to 30 days of inpatient or crisis residential care, the Department of Veteran's Affairs announced Friday. It will also include up to 90 days of follow-up outpatient care and ambulance rides to hosp...

    Suicidal Service Members With Guns at Home Often Keep Feelings Secret: Study

    Military service members who conceal their suicidal thoughts are also more likely to store their guns unsafely, a new study reveals.

    “These findings highlight a real problem with our suicide prevention system,” said Michael Anestis, lead author of the study and...

    Long Stays Common for Kids Who Visit ERs in Mental Health Crisis

    It's a scenario no parent would ever want to witness: Their child suffers a mental health crisis and is taken to the emergency room, only to have to wait 12 hours or more for the right medical care.

    Sadly, it is what 1 in 5 of these young patients now face, new research finds.

    "For kids with mental health conditions, long waits in the emergency department have been a compounding pr...

    4 Genes May Raise Risk for Suicide

    Scientists have pinpointed four genes that seem to play a part in how vulnerable you are to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

    "It's important to note that these genes do not predestine anyone to problems, but it's also important to understand that there could be heightened risks, particularly when combined with life events," said study co-author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 14, 2022
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  • Myth That Suicides Peak During the Holidays Could Cause Harm

    Many Americans believe that suicide rates spike every time the holiday season comes around. There's just one catch: It's not true.

    Yet, a new analysis reveals that 56% of stories published last year in U.S. newspapers that touched on a potential connection between the holidays ...

    Record Number of Fatal Drug ODs for Pregnant, Postpartum Women

    Pregnant and postpartum women are dying of drug overdoses in record numbers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse, a new study shows.

    Deaths increased about 81% over the past four years, hitting a record high in 2020, according to researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

    "We've seen significant increases in fatal and non...

    988 Mental Health Hotline Back in Business After Daylong Outage

    A national hotline that people can call in a mental health emergency went down for a day before it was restored late Thursday.

    Those in crisis could still reach counselors by texting 988 or visiting 988lifeline.org during the outage. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Disaster Distress Helpline was also down.

    It's unclear what happened to cause the...

    Mental Health Care Shortage Could Play Role in U.S. Youth Suicides

    The kids aren't alright.

    Up to 1 in 5 children in the United States has a mental health condition, but only about half of those who need mental health care are now receiving it. What's more, suicide is the second leading cause of death among U.S. kids and teens, and youth suicide rates have been rising over the last decade.

    Now, about one year after the U.S. Surgeon General cit...

    Unlocked & Loaded: Most Guns Used in Suicides Are Easily Accessed

    Guns cause more than half of all suicides in the United States each year, and new research finds most of these are handguns owned by the deceased that were stored unlocked and loaded.

    Researchers used data from the National Violent Death Reporting System to examine the deaths of more than 117,000 people who killed themselves with guns between 2003 and 2018.

    "These results highlight ...

    Suicide Rates Declining for White Americans, But Not for Minorities

    In a finding that illustrates just how deeply racial disparities permeate the U.S. health care system, a new government report finds that suicide rates dipped slightly among white Americans while they rose for Black and Hispanic Americans.

    "Although the recent decline in suicide rates for non-Hispanic whi...

    Pandemic Saw Big Rise in Deaths to Millennials From Multiple Causes

    Americans aged 25 to 44 — so-called millennials — are dying at significantly higher rates from three leading killers than similarly aged people just 10 years ago, the latest government data shows.

    Looking at data collected between 2000 and 2020, the new report from the U.S. National Center for He...

    LGBTQ Youth Have Double the Risk for Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts

    A new study that looks at suicide risk among U.S. teens who are lesbian, gay and bisexual finds they have disproportionately high rates of suicidal thoughts, planning and attempts compared to their heterosexual peers.

    “The major message of this paper is that among a group of survivors of these types of violence, those who identify as a sexual minority are more likely to develop suicidal...

    Illinois Study Shows Big Jump in Suicide-Linked ER Visits by Teens

    Illinois has seen a recent surge in the number of kids arriving in the emergency room for suicidal thoughts -- both during and shortly before the pandemic, according to a new study.

    Among kids ages 5 to 19, ER visits for suicidal thoughts rose by 59% across the state between 2016 and 2021, researchers found. That included a sharp spike in the fall of 2019, followed by another in the fall ...

    Single Dose of Psychedelic Curbs Depression, But Study Raises Concerns

    A single psychedelic trip with psilocybin -- the mind-altering component of magic mushrooms -- appears to lift the fog of major depression in some hard-to-treat patients, a new clinical trial reports.

    A 25-milligram dose of a synthetic psilocybin compound called COMP360 caused a "rapid and durable response" in more than a third of patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, sa...

    Too Few Young People Get Mental Health Follow-Up After ER Visit

    When teens and young adults go to the emergency room or are hospitalized for critical mental health issues a staggering number are not receiving quick follow-up care, new U.S. research finds.

    Researchers at the University of Massachusetts looked at more than 100,000 ER visits of young people ages 12 to 27 who have private insurance. Only about 29% received follow-up care within seve...

    Americans Are Prioritizing Mental Health, With New 988 Hotline There to Help

    As the 988 crisis line debuts across the United States, a new Harris Poll shows that Americans are ready to make mental health and suicide prevention a top priority.

    Over eight in 10 adults now believe it's more important than ever to consider suicide prevention a national public health crisis, according to the poll spon...

    U.S. Gun Deaths Reach New Highs

    Murders and suicides involving guns have reached an all-time high in the United States, health officials reported Thursday.

    From 2020 to 2021, the rate of firearm homicides increased by more than 8%, as did the rate of firearm suicides, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "It's worth noting that firearms were used in the vast majority of...

    Suicide Risk Rises Sharply in People Diagnosed With Early-Onset Dementia

    Thoughts of suicide are often a first reaction to a diagnosis of dementia before age 65, a new study suggests.

    Suicide risk is highest in the first three months after the dementia diagnosis and if the patient already has a psychiatric disorder, British researchers found. For those younger...

    U.S. Suicide Rates Rose in 2021, Reversing 2 Years of Decline

    The suicide rate in the United States increased in 2021, following two years of decline, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The number of suicides increased to 47,646 in 2021, up from 45,979 in 2020, according to researchers at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

    As a result, the U.S. suicide rate also increased ...

    Could a Folic Acid Prescription Help Prevent Suicide?

    More than 1 million Americans attempted suicide in 2020, and a new study is hinting at a potential way to reduce that risk: prescription folic acid.

    The study, of more than 800,000 Americans in a health care database, found that when people were on prescription folic acid, their likelihood of being treated for

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 30, 2022
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  • Most Pregnancy-Related Deaths in U.S. Could Have Been Prevented

    More than four out of five pregnancy-related deaths in the United States could have been prevented, according to a new federal government report.

    The researchers examined data from

    Depression Affects Almost 1 in 10 Americans

    Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from depression, with the mood disorder increasing fastest among teens and young adults, a new study finds.

    Between 2015 and 2020, incidence of depression reached 9% among Americans 12 and older. Among teens and young adults, the depression rate stood at 17% in 2020, the researchers found.

    "

    New 988 Suicide Hotline Sees Increase in Calls for Help

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new suicide hotline using just the numbers 988 in July, and now new data shows calls climbed 45% compared to the same time last year.

    "Our nation's transition to 988 moves us closer to better serving the crisis care needs of people across America," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 12, 2022
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  • Could You Spot the Signs of Suicide Risk?

    Recognizing the signs that someone is considering suicide could help save a life.

    "Emergency physicians see many people who are struggling silently with their mental health," said Dr. Gillian Schmitz, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

    "One...

    'Digital Self-Harm': When Teens Cyberbully Themselves

    Up to 9% of American teens say they've engaged in what's known as "digital self-harm" -- anonymously posting negative comments about themselves on social media.

    As is the case with acts of physical self-harm such as cutting, this "virtual" self-harm is associated with a higher risk for thinking about or attempting suicide, according to a startling

  • Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 2, 2022
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  • U.S. Life Expectancy Fell by Nearly 1 Year in 2021 Due to Pandemic

    Life expectancy in the United States dropped for the second straight year, government health officials reported Wednesday.

    The decline from 77 years in 2020 to 76.1 years in 2021 puts U.S. life expectancy at the lowest level since 1996, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The drop of nearly one year in 2021, plus a drop of nearly two years i...

    Hispanic Americans' Suicide Rates Are Rising

    Suicide is a major public health issue for all Americans, but new research suggests it is a particularly pressing problem for Hispanics.

    Between 2010 and 2020, the suicide rate among Hispanic adults increased by more than 70%, while the Hispanic population in the United States only grew by about 25%, the researcher...

    Too Few Psychiatric Beds: Psychiatrists' Group Takes Aim at Ongoing Crisis

    Amid a stark shortage of psychiatric beds that only worsened for millions suffering from mental illnesses during the pandemic, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is rolling out a new model that can help communities determine exactly how many beds they need.

    Having enough in-patient beds would cut down on overcrowding in emergency departments and early release from needed care, the...

    Gun Deaths Rose 30% Among U.S. Kids in a Decade

    A grim new analysis finds that American youth became 30% more likely to die as a result of gun violence over the past decade.

    The jump in risk appears to have been largely driven by big spikes in gun-related

  • Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 26, 2022
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  • America's 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Launches Saturday

    Starting Saturday, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or having a mental health crisis, you can dial just three numbers -- 988 -- to get help.

    Callers will be connected to a trained counselor at a local call center and ultimately routed to potentially lifesaving support services. The three-digit co...

    What Drives Doctors to Take Their Own Lives

    Doctor burnout and suicide are a growing concern, a new study finds.

    "We often overlook the physical health of our health care workers, but poor health can lead to difficulty performing tasks at work, which then leads to job stress and mental health issues," said corresponding author Dr. Kristen Kim, a resident in psychiatry at UC San Diego Health.

    About 1 in 15 doctors experience s...

    More Cyberbullying, More Suicidal Thoughts Among Teens: Study

    Adolescents who experience cyberbullying are more likely to think about suicide, a new study shows.

    Researchers found a link between being bullied online, through texts or on social media, and thoughts of suicide that go above and beyond the link between suicidal thoughts and traditional offline bullying.<...

    Youth Suicide Attempts Drop in U.S. States With Hate Crime Laws

    Hate crime laws that protect gay, lesbian and transgender people may have an unexpected benefit: fewer teen suicide attempts, among kids of all sexual orientations.

    That's the conclusion of a new study that looked at what happened in U.S. states that enacted hate crime laws with protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals. It found that

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 23, 2022
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  • Obamacare May Have Helped Lower Suicide Rates

    Suicide rates are rising more slowly in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study finds.

    "Suicide is a public health problem, and our findings indicate that increasing access to health care -- including mental health care -- by expanding Medicaid eligibility can play an imp...

    The 988 Mental Health Hotline Is Coming. Is America Ready?

    The mental health equivalent of 911 is about to launch across the United States, but a new study finds that many communities may not be prepared for it.

    Beginning July 16, a new 988 number will be available 24/7 for Americans dealing with a mental health crisis

    4 in 10 U.S. Adults Who Need Mental Health Care Can't Get It: Survey

    There is a "staggering" gap between the number of Americans who need care for anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions and those who can actually get it, a new survey shows.

    In all, 42% of U.S. adults who needed care in the previous 12 months did not get it because of costs and other barriers, according to the online survey from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Nea...

    Intentional Overdoses Rise Among U.S. Kids, Teens

    A growing number of U.S. kids are attempting suicide by medication overdose - with the biggest increase seen among preteens, a recent study shows.

    Researchers found that between 2015 and 2020, there was a 27% increase in overdose suicide or attempted suicide among U.S. children and teenagers. While teens accounted for most of those incidents, it was 10- to 12-year-olds who showed the bigg...

    U.S. Gun Homicides Jumped to Highest Level in 25 Years During Pandemic

    During the first year of the pandemic, the number of Americans felled by gun violence reached a level not seen since 1994, a new government report shows.

    From 2019 to 2020, the rate of murders involving guns rose by nearly 35%, the highest logged in more than 25 years.

    In fact, guns were involved in 79% of all murders and 53% of all suicides in 2020. Along with increases in gun suic...

    Out-of-State Residents Can Now Seek Medical Aid in Dying in Oregon

    Oregon will no longer require terminally ill patients to be residents of the state to use its law allowing physician aid in dying.

    A lawsuit that challenged the residency requirement as unconstitutional was settled Monday, with the Oregon Health Autho...

    Suicide Rate Is Spiking Upwards in Preadolescent Children

    In the past two decades, a growing number of preteens have taken medicines or other chemicals as a way to end their lives, new research warns.

    The mental health of children has become a big talking point in light of the pandemic, but the study data showed the problem has been percolating for years: There has been a 4.5-fold increase in suicidal ingestion cases among children between the a...

    Suicides Involving Guns Have Key Differences, Study Shows

    People who die by suicide with a gun are challenging to assist beforehand, and different from those who kill themselves using other means, a new study finds.

    "Those who died using a firearm were more likely to have disclosed their suicidal thoughts to other people in the month preceding their death, but it is not clear who they spoke to," said lead study author Allie Bond. She is a doctor...

    Guns Outpacing Car Crashes as Leading Cause of Trauma Death for Americans

    Guns have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of premature death from trauma in the United States, a new study finds.

    It also showed that gun suicides are highest in older white men, while gu...