Increase in Thoughts and Suicide Attempts Among Young Adults in France

In total, 6.8% reported a suicide attempt in their lifetime and 0.5% in the past year, according to data published on the National Suicide Prevention Day. Among 18-75 year olds, the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and reported suicide attempts in the past year had slightly decreased since 2014, while the prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts had stabilized (trends were based on 18-75 year olds using health barometers conducted from 2000 with comparable methodology).

According to Santé Publique France, “the main result” of this survey is “a significant increase in suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in the course of life among 18-24 year olds, observed over the past decade.” These results “constitute a significant change as they were lower or comparable to other age groups in the population in the health barometers that preceded the Covid-19 pandemic,” the public health agency reminds.

This trend reversal “confirms the significant increase in distress among the younger population.” In this age group, the mental health of young women seems to be particularly affected: the prevalence of suicidal thoughts reaches 9.4% for women aged 18-24, the prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts is 12.8%, and 2% for the past year.

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