#JamesDonaldson On #MentalHealth – #Children As Young As Four Suffering Suicidal Thoughts: Research

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Some of the youngest and most vulnerable #children – who are still in early primary #school — have thought about #suicide, according to shocking research.

The paper, by Professor Brett McDermott from James Cook University and commissioned by the Queensland #Child Death Review Board, provided insights into the drivers of #suicide among #children and young people known to the child protection system.

Young people known to the child protection system are at greater risk of suicide, according to new research.
Young people known to the child protection system are at greater risk of #suicide, according to new research.

Professor McDermott, who examined data over the past 20 years, found a new concern was the age when suicidal ideation began in #children.

A paper from 2013 found very low prevalence of #suicide attempts or planning before the age of 12, but more recently, in 2018, researchers reported #suicidalideation in four and six-year-olds who had been maltreated.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

Child Death Review Board chair Cheryl Vardon said the research found #suicide was most prevalent in #children with a #mentalhealthdisorder, young people in contact with the youth justice system, and those who experienced household dysfunction, alcohol or substance issues, or childhood trauma.

“Childhood trauma … includes verbal, physical or sexual abuse and physical and emotional neglect, with the research indicating a direct link between the experience and suicidal thinking,” she said.

“Sadly, many #children known to Queensland’s child protection system are exposed to, or have experienced, one or many of the factors that can contribute to #suicide, which increases their risk significantly.”

Ms Vardon said the research showed some groups were at a higher risk than others, with rates of #suicide up to four times higher in young people in out-of-home care and between four and 12 times higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander #children.

“Some concerning trends reported in the research include more lethal means being used to complete #suicide, particularly among #girls, and #children experiencing suicidal thoughts at younger ages, with primary #school #children reported to have thought about #suicide,” she said.

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