COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages five to 24. Nationwide children’s hospital is calling this a public health concern.

A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that youth suicides increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Donna Ruch, principal investigator for the Center of Suicide Prevention Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said most of these findings weren’t surprising as depression, anxiety and isolation increased during the pandemic.

She said some key findings from the study is that there were significantly more suicides than expected among males and suicides in kids age five to 12 increased during the pandemic.

Dr. Ruch, co-author of the study, also said that suicide rates among Asian and Pacific Island females were higher than expected.

As well, more youths are dying by firearms. Dr. Ruch calls all this alarming, especially since no group had significantly fewer deaths than expected.

“I think the key message we would like to convey is that youth suicide is preventable. We need to continue our efforts to ensure that all youth have access to mental and behavioral health. That’s a biggie.”

For more information on suicide prevention and research, visit here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline available 24/7. To reach the 24/7 Crisis Text Helpline, text 4HOPE to 741741.