The Georgia Department of Education has released the 2019 Georgia Student Health Survey and the results are startling in terms of teen suicide in Georgia.
According to Voices for Georgia’s Children, an advocacy group lobbying for more funding for behavioral health, the number of Georgia teens who attempted suicide jumped by 45.6% between 2017 and 2018.
According to the health survey, in 2019, 39,226 Georgia students reported having attempted suicide, while 77,878 students reported having considered suicide. The numbers of students who reported having harmed themselves was 61,978 and the number of students who considered self-harm was 108,494.
“These data shows our children are in crisis,” said Dr. Erica Fener Sitkoff, Executive Director for Voices for Georgia’s Children. “One barrier our children face is access to timely, high-quality behavioral health. It is increasingly a matter of life and death in our state.”
The group is releasing the numbers it says show an “alarming increase” in teen suicide and self harm in the hopes that state budget cuts will not impact behavioral health.
The group also points to other numbers that show the bleak reality of Georgia’s health care crisis. Those numbers are below:
- Of Georgia’s 159 counties:
- 64 do not have a pediatrician
- 76 do not have a licensed psychologist
- 52 do not have a licensed social worker
- Approximately 94% of Georgia counties have a full or partial health professional shortage.