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UNLV Report: Suicides Among Clark County Teens Increased in 2011

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Annual report calls for suicide prevention education starting in elementary school.
Research  |  Nov 13, 2012  |  By Afsha Bawany
Media Contact: Afsha Bawany, UNLV Media Relations, (702) 895-5515

Suicide deaths increased among children and teens in Clark County in 2011, according to the latest annual report from Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy (NICRP) at UNLV. Suicide-related deaths in 2011 were four times higher than in 2008 and 2009.

Report authors call for expanding suicide prevention efforts in elementary schools and firearm safety campaigns. The report also encourages more education on preventing access to other lethal means of suicide.

The NICRP report breaks down the manners and causes of 237 child death cases ranging from birth to 17 years in Clark County in 2011. The cases reviewed include all natural deaths (155 cases), accidents (37 cases), homicides (19 cases), suicides (16 cases), and deaths from undetermined causes (10 cases).

Suffocation, motor vehicle accidents, poisoning, and drowning were the leading causes of accidental death among children, the report finds.

The report uses data gathered by an independent child death review team in Clark County and is designed to help local officials identify trends and risk factors and improve prevention efforts.

Among the report's significant findings:

  • Poisoning and overdose cases increased by five cases from 2010 to 2011.
  • Suffocation and strangulation deaths decreased by three cases from 2010 to 2011.
  • Deaths caused by a weapon increased by eight cases from 2010 to 2011.
  • One death resulted from SIDS.
  • Homicides occurred among children 1 to 4 years old and teens ages 15 to 17 with more nonfirearm homicides than firearm homicides.

The report's authors urge for education about suicide prevention to early on in elementary schools and to help anyone working with youth to recognize signs of suicide and techniques on how to intervene. The report also encourages more pool safety regulations, and initiatives to prevent substance abuse in youth. This is the sixth year the NICRP at UNLV has prepared an annual report.