YOUTH SUICIDE AND SELF-HARM
Youth suicide and self-harm is one of the top three priorities for injury prevention in BC.
Tragically, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of injury death for British Columbians aged 15-24 years and older, followed by other injuries such as motor vehicle collisions.1
In 2019, death rates for youth suicide in British Columbia were double in males in comparison with females.1
Self-harm includes deliberate self-injury, with or without suicidal intent. Female youth in BC accounted for 2.9 times as many hospitalizations for self-harm than male from 2015 to 2019.2
For every child and youth who dies of suicide in BC, there are more than 3,000 who identify having suicide ideation.3
More males die by suicide than females, but more females are hospitalized due to attempted suicide than males.
BCIRPU supports the prevention of suicide and self-harm-related injuries at the policy level, practice, level, and community level. Youth suicide and self-harm prevention is one of the provincial priorities for injury prevention.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health challenges, or is thinking about suicide or has attempted suicide or self-harm in the past:
- Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 support for youth (1-800-668-6868), and have some articles on how to talk to your kids and teens about COVID-19 on their website.
- 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
- Youth in BC (up to 25 years old): Youth In BC; Kelty Mental Health
- Online Safety and Preventing Cyberbullying: Government of BC
- Understanding and addressing the conditions which cause mental distress, feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Reducing exposure to adverse experiences in early childhood
- Promoting connectedness to school and to significant adults, teaching coping and problem-solving skills
- Creating protective, supportive, accepting, and safe environments
- Reducing stigma and discrimination
- Restricting means of access (e.g. make it difficult for persons to access poisons, guns or pills, and have safety measures on bridges)
- Ensuring responsible media reporting
- Offering accessible support for vulnerable children and youth
- Ensuring that those children and youth experiencing a mental health crisis receive timely evidence-based treatment and care
Girls age 10 to 19 living in rural B.C. communities with poor access to local mental health services are at highest risk of intentionally poisoning themselves.
1. BC Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health. Retrieved from BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (2021). Available from: https://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/DataTools/Mortality.aspx [Based on 2019 statistics]
2.Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Ministry of Health, BCIRPU Injury Data Online Tool (2021). Available from: https://data.injuryresearch.bc.ca/DataTools/hospitalization.aspx
3. BC Coroners Service, Youth Suicide Death Review Panel. (2019) Supporting youth and health professionals: a report on youth suicides. Available from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/birth-adoption-death-marriage-and-divorce/deaths/coroners-service/child-death-review-unit/reports-publications/youth_suicide_drp_report_2018.pdf.