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New Review Shows Geographic Location Affects Suicide Rates in Teens and Young Adults

 

A new review undertaken by investigators from Ohio state University show that the geographic location of teens and young adults will help determine the suicide rates that each individual and geographic group faces. Those who reside in rural areas tended to have higher suicide rates than those who lived in cities and urban areas. This was surprising to many, because city and urban living means a more dense population and is usually predicted to cause higher levels of stress due to the additional population. The research shows that both sexes have double the suicide rate when they lived in a rural area compared to peers who lived in cities. In another surprising trend suicides that involved teens and young adults moved away from the use of guns and towards the method of hanging instead.

The latest review to examine suicide rates and geographic location for teens and young adults shows that there is a lack of treatment facilities and opportunities when it comes to mental health and substance abuse issues for those who reside in rural areas. Teens an young adults who live in large cities can often access treatment facilities and programs much easier, and this could prevent suicide before the individual reaches that point. According to lead study author and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State University Cynthia Fontanella, Ph.D, “These kinds of surveillance studies can really help us identify areas to target our prevention efforts, and it’s clear we need to target rural areas for primary prevention of suicide. Rural America is beautiful, and many individuals live in close-knit communities. But in terms of access to services and perhaps some other factors, the cards may be stacked against them.

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