In light of the recent suicides of several Palo Alto teens, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began an epidemiological study in February 2016 that investigated previous youth suicide clusters. Last week, the CDC released preliminary findings of their study, which revealed that mental health problems, recent crises and problems at school were major factors in the suicides of the 232 youths throughout Santa Clara County the CDC investigated.
The CDC’s research revealed that 46 percent of victims had a mental health problem at the time. The most common mental health problems were depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Of the 232 cases studied, 53.7 percent had experienced a major crisis in the last two weeks. Male youths were found to be much less likely to report mental health problems or seek help and had a higher suicide rate than female youths.