Pediatric emergency physician Dr. Allie Hurst shares insights on new CDC report about adolescent girls’ mental health

Teenage girl with mobile phone

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

New data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) details record-high levels of sadness, violence, and risk of suicide for teenage girls. Dr. Allie Hurst, medical director, pediatric emergency medicine, UW Health Kids, and assistant professor of pediatric emergency medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, joined Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time as a health expert to talk about what’s behind the numbers and what actions can be done to help.

According to the report, suicide is the second-leading cause of death of children ages 10 to 14 years old.

While the underlying causes of the increase in suicide-related emergency visits are not firmly known, contributing factors may include poverty, gender identity, racism, addiction, disruptions in social settings from COVID-19 lockdowns, and being exposed to death by suicide among peers.

If someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts or knows of someone who is experiencing anxiety or depression, there are resources available to help, like the national 988 hotline or speaking with a primary care physician who can direct you to the appropriate care professional, Hurst said.

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This broadcast is © Wisconsin Public Radio, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. It originally aired on February 27, 2023.