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COVID-19 Pandemic Saw Major Increase in Kids Attempting Suicide by Poison

April 26, 2023 by jta6n@virginia.edu

Chris Holstege, MD

Christopher Holstege, MD, medical director of the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center at UVA Health (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

A new study about an increase in suicide attempts among kids and teens since the COVID-19 pandemic has received widespread national news coverage. Nearly 200 media outlets, including U.S. News and World Report, have run the story based on UVA Health’s press release on April 20.

The study was led by Christopher Holstege, MD, and a team of UVA researchers Rita Farah, PhD, Saumitra V. Rege, PhD, and Ryan J. Cole, MD. Their findings were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 

This significant increase in suicide attempts during the pandemic surprised us. We are alarmed at the dramatic increase in suicide attempts in such a young population, which continues to escalate according to our data.” —Christopher Holstege, MD, medical director of the Blue Ridge Poison Center at UVA Health and chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

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Filed Under: Clinical, Faculty, Media Highlights, Research