The following is the summary of “Exploring Place-Based Differences in Suicide and Suicide-Related Outcomes Among North Carolina Adolescents and Young Adults” published in the January 2023 issue of Adolescent Health by Sugg, et al.

Even though teen and young adult suicide is a persistent public health problem in the United States, the spatial patterns of suicide attempts and successful suicides are still, for the most part, a mystery. Another trend that is on the rise in this vulnerable demographic is nonfatal self-injury, which is considered a risk factor for suicide. Using data obtained from emergency departments, death certificates, and the violent death reporting system, researchers evaluate spatial clusters of cases of self-injury and suicide that occurred in the state of North Carolina between 2009 and 2018.

According to the findings, there is a startling disparity between the demographic profiles of individuals who deliberately take their own lives and those who inflict less severe types of self-injury. There was a distinct difference between where people killed themselves and where they hurt themselves intentionally. Micropolitan status, as well as measures of racial and income segregation at the area level, have the potential to be used to make predictions regarding clusters of high-risk suicides. 

Higher-risk suicide clusters have also been connected to Native American suicides as well as suicides perpetrated by those who had a military or veteran background. To make an immediate dent in the number of young people and adolescents taking their own lives, future interventions should concentrate on high-risk locations like these.