Health experts: NJ teen, young adult suicide rate continues to climb

MOORESTOWN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The pandemic continues to create anxiety and depression for many people, putting their mental health at risk. When it comes to teens and young adults in New Jersey, the suicide rate continues to climb.

“The risk of suicide could be increasing significantly during the pandemic because there's so much stress, worry and isolation,” explained Shauna Moses of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies.

Moses said while the Garden State does not top the list of youth suicides in the country, numbers continue to climb during the pandemic. Even though some kids attend school part time and take classes online, others don't physically attend at all.

"A lot of people think online keeps us socially connected which is true to a degree, but it never is a full substitute for in-person interaction, so that adds to the mental health impact of the coronavirus,” she explained.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey between March and June of this year and found that youth and young adults suffer anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide more than any age group.

"That's very telling and even more so with the pandemic,” she said.

Moses said the impact of the pandemic could last long after it's declared to be over. She encouraged parents to look for any signs of changes in their children and talk to a professional for help.