If you know a teen who has killed himself or herself, it probably feels like adolescent suicide has reached epidemic proportions -- an understandable reaction to such a horrific event. However, although teen suicide numbers feel like they're on the climb, quite the opposite is true.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks suicide rates by age group throughout the United States. From 1991 to 2006, the most recent year for which data is available, the suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 has actually been declining. In 1991, there were about 9 suicides for every 100,000 people. By 2006, that number had dropped to 7 suicides for every 100,000 people.
This decline has been attributed to an increase in the use of anti-depressants, as well as a national campaign to reduce the availability of firearms -- the leading means of self-inflicted suicide among teens. Unfortunately, even one suicide in a million is too many.