Hispanic Girls Facing Higher Suicide Rate
March 13, 2017
Hispanic teenage girls have the highest rate of suicide attempts among all adolescent groups in the U.S., according to a survey of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Most suicides can be prevented if we all work together, talk to each other and engage with other people,” said psychologist Lisa Boesky to La Prensa San Diego. “We need to help the youth get the appropriate treatment.”
The survey indicates that 15 percent of Hispanic adolescents in the U.S. have attempted suicide. That’s compared to 9.8 percent and 10.2 percent for white and black female teens, respectively. And nearly 26 percent of Hispanic teens considered suicide.
“There are a few reasons why Hispanic teens are at the highest risk of all adolescents of suicidal thoughts. One of them is because they don’t reach out for help like some of the other teens,” Boesky said. “Hispanic girls have problems like the other teenager groups but in addition they have parents that are more traditional that want them to stay at home and take care of siblings, and that can set up conflict between the family.”
Hispanic girls who are daughters of immigrant parents can also face a lack of insurance or poor health coverage. But help is still available for them.
Boesky encourages families to seek mental health treatment at their local community health center, with their daughter’s school counselor or even at the emergency room, if they see red flags. Red flags can be mood changes, lack of interest, and change in social relationships. A parent, relatives, friends, or even neighbors can notice these red flags.
Teenage suicide was one of the many trends discussed at the Second Annual Critical Issues in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference held by the County of San Diego, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Conference Center, on Saturday, March 11.
The goal of the conference was to provide clinical practitioners, educators, behavioral health and child welfare, and community organizations with the most up-to-date information on complex issues facing youth, families and communities. This one-day conference featured nationally and locally known clinicians, best-selling authors, social action and advocates and a panel of youth speakers.
Presenters provided a view into the new world of teen communication and implications for child safety, prevention and interventions that can and should be done at home, school and in the community.
“Social media is a mechanism to contact people but for children it can be also a tool to become isolated and only rely on social media. People are not always nice in social networks, and the harm they make can be devastated. That’s when social media becomes a negative thing.” said Dr. Mark Chenven , to La Prensa San Diego. “We need conferences like the one today in every community for prevention practices.”
Conference guests included more than 500 therapists, clinicians, physicians, case managers and other care providers.