COVID School Closures Linked to Youth Suicide

A report published in the JAMA Network Open stated that there is an association between youth suicidality and school closures from COVID-19.

“This cohort study found an association between longer school closures in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and increases in youth suicidality,” the authors of the report wrote.

They added that further investigation is needed so that “policy regarding school closures may better align with the mental health needs of youth.”

Comparing youth suicidality rates between Texas and Massachusetts, the authors found that Massachusetts had greater emergency department visits among youths aged 12-17.

Massachusetts had prolonged school closures from the 2020 pandemic.

“Starting September 2020, youths aged 12 to 17 years had significantly higher rates of EDSVs in Massachusetts,” the study noted.

At that time, only 20-40% of Massachusetts schools returned to in-person learning, whereas about half of the schools in Texas did the same.

A study from 2022 found that emergency department visits for suicidal ideation “increased 59% from 2016 through 2017 to 2019 through 2021.”

“Hospitalizations increased 57% between prepandemic fall 2019 and fall 2020,” the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, added.