According to the National Household Survey, approximately 3 million Americans age 12 to 18 considered suicide in 2000 and more than a third of those tried to kill themselves, a government survey found. According to the on Drug Abuse report, girls were almost twice as likely as boys to have thought about or tried to commit suicide.
The study, released Sunday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that only one in three of those who reported considering suicide or trying to kill themselves received counseling. The report said that the research has demonstrated that the most effective way to prevent suicide is through the early identification and treatment of those at risk. But only 36 percent of youths at risk for suicide during the past year received mental health treatment during this same time period.''
White, black, Hispanic and Asian youths reported similar rates of suicide risk, the report said. Youths in Western states were the most at risk - almost 10 percent - followed by young people in the South, 13 percent; the Midwest, 10 percent; and the Northeast, 11 percent. In all, the study showed that 9 percent of children age 12-13 considered or tried to commit suicide in 2000. The percentage for teenagers 14-15 and 16-17 was 13.7 percent for each age group. The study also found that youngsters who had used alcohol or illicit drugs during the year were much more likely to have had suicidal thoughts.