Doctor discusses World Suicide Prevention Week, teen mental health

Local News

Sept. 5-10 is World Suicide Prevention Week. If you or anyone you know has contemplated suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic linger, there have been concerns about the mental health of teens.

A recent study published on the Centers for Disease Control website said the proportion of mental health-related emergency department visits for U.S. adolescents ages 12-17 increased 31% in 2020 compared to 2019.

To share more details on Kaiser Permanente research and resources available for teens, Dr. Kathryn Erickson-Ridout joined Sonseeahray on FOX40 News at 11 a.m.

“We looked at mental health encounters and suicide encounters in the emergency room for youth during the pandemic compared to the year prior,” Erickson-Ridout explained. “And, we found that there wasn’t an increase of youth coming to the emergency room overall for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but specific groups seemed to be coming more often than others.”

For additional resources for understanding depression and managing mental health, Erickson-Rideout suggests visiting the Find Your Words website.

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, recently secured a $115,000 grant to provide more mental health resources in the Central Valley.

The money will benefit the Sierra Vista Child and Family Services, providing mental health training to first responders.

“We have a long way to go to ensure everyone gets the mental health treatment they need, but this is another great step in the right direction,” Harder told FOX40 on Wednesday.    

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