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All hands on deck: Strengthening pediatric care through behavioral health integration to save lives

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Population Health

Since 1990, the global suicide rate has declined by nearly a third; however, in the United States the number has trended up. The statistics are staggering, particularly for children:

  • The overall suicide rate rose 26% between 2007 and 2017. For children 10 to 17, during that period, the rate more than doubled.

In Utah, the numbers are even more disconcerting:
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for children 10 and older in the state.
  • The state had the fifth-highest suicide rate in the country in 2017 for children 10 and older.
  • The youth suicide rate has more than tripled in Utah over the last decade.

Suicide is often tied to an adverse childhood experience (ACE). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an ACE involves “abuse, neglect, and other potentially traumatic experiences that occur to people under the age of 18.” Examples include emotional, physical and sexual abuse; physical or emotional neglect; and substance abuse, mental illness or divorce in the household. These traumatic experiences can have “negative, lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood or later in life.”

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About the Author

Christian Green
Christian Green MA
MGMA Writer/Editor MGMA

cgreen@mgma.com

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