Higher Suicide Rates Evident among Youth Certain Groups of Medicaid Enrollees

February 01, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


The first study of its kind has looked at suicide deaths in a national sample of Medicaid-enrolled youth. Researchers used data from young people ages 10 to 18 in 16 states who died by suicide between 2009 and 2013. They found that nearly 40 percent of those who died by suicide were enrolled in Medicaid. According to the authors, these results can help target prevention efforts, such as screening Medicaid-enrolled young people for suicide risk. “Our findings, together with prior research indicating Medicaid subgroups experience more child maltreatment and poverty-related adversity than non-Medicaid youth, suggest a need to develop the capacity of health care delivery systems to implement trauma-informed approaches across the continuum of care,” said lead author Cynthia A. Fontanella of Ohio State University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

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