ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — US Olympic gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of competing in the games due to her mental health this week. Experts say it’s an important message after a marked increase in suicide attempts among young girls aged 12-17.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from February to March of this year, average weekly visits to the hospital for suicide attempts among young girls were up more than 50% from the same period last year.
The report reveals the disruption of daily life during the pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing orders, which may have contributed, according to OSF HealthCare psychotherapist, Bernice Gordon-Young.
“There’s a comparison, their bodies against each other and social media, and there’s also peer relationships, and just what we call Mean Girls. I hear a lot of those kinds of things, of feeling left out or not feeling good enough,” Gordon-Young said.
She added that parents should watch for warning signs that something isn’t quite right, and know there are resources available to help.