Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are on the rise among young people

Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are on the rise among young people

According to the latest weekly epidemiological bulletin published by Public Health Europe today, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among young people aged 18 to 24 are on the rise.

This is a new illustration of the deterioration in the mental health of young people, which has continued to increase since the Covid-19 pandemic. A study conducted in 2021 and published today by Public Health Europe shows an increase in suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among 18-24 year olds.

An increasing suicidal trend among young people

This survey was carried out among more than 24,000 people aged 18 to 85 in mainland Europe and 6,500 people living in the overseas departments and territories and overseas regions.

Result: 4.2% of respondents indicate having thought about committing suicide in the last twelve months. There are also 7.2% of young adults, aged 18 to 24, who admit to having thought about suicide that year.

According to Public Health Europe, the main conclusion of this investigation is “a significant increase in suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts over the course of life among 18-24 year olds, observed over the past ten years”.

The Covid-19 pandemic plays an important role in this situation

How to explain this trend? Public Health Europe highlights a “significant impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the mental health of the population”. The health authority also does the “observation of a greater deterioration in the mental health of the youngest following the pandemic” and alert on “the increase in visits to emergency rooms for mood disorders and suicidal gestures”.

Indeed, according to figures collected over several years, SPF also notes that “since 2014, suicidal thoughts have doubled among 18-24 year olds..

Are women more affected than men?

Still among 18-24 year olds, women also seem to be more affected by the risk of suicide. Indeed, in this age group:

  • The prevalence of suicidal thoughts reaches 9.4%;
  • That of suicide attempts during life peaks at 12.8%;
  • And that of suicide attempts over the last twelve months is 2%.

Public Health Europe also paints a general profile of people more vulnerable to suicide risk. They are more fragile socio-economically, live alone or raise their children alone, but also are unemployed, or do not have a baccalaureate. No notable difference is found between metropolitan regions and those overseas.

Improving prevention policies

Finally, Public Health Europe recalls that “Europe has one of the highest suicide rates among European countries“. To try to confront this scourge, and this “significant increase in unhappiness among the youngestshe concludes that it is necessary “strengthen the prevention policies and a better understanding of the mechanisms that affect the mental health of young people since the Covid-19 pandemic”.