A record 43 patients were admitted to Cook Children’s Medical Center in March after attempting suicide.
According to the hospital system, last year, Cook Children’s recorded seven suicide deaths, marking the first time suicide was the leading cause of trauma deaths at the hospital, surpassing child abuse and car wrecks.
The JOY campaign launched on Tuesday with a series of stories on Checkup Newsroom over the next six weeks. JOY stands for Just Breathe. Open Up. You Matter.
The stories will explore how the pandemic and isolation have affected kids, the role over-the-counter medication plays in youth suicide attempts, social media, and the unique challenges faced by minorities, including the LGBTQ+ community as to how suicide affects families.
"This is not in the parenting manual, so no parent really knows how to respond when their teen says that maybe they're depressed or maybe they don't want to live anymore," said Kristen Pyrc, MD, co-medical director of psychiatry at Cook Children’s.
"Having that knowledge before you have that conversation with that teen is a really good idea," Pyrc said.