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New CDC report states 1 in 3 teen girls in the US seriously considered suicide in 2021

The report also says there was a 20% increase in sexual violence towards teen girls in 2021.

The Sanford Professional Building in downtown Fargo.
Jay Dahl / WDAY News

FARGO — A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one-in-three teenage girls in the U.S. seriously considered suicide in 2021.

Sanford Health psychologist Dr. Katelyn Mickelson says increased use of social media and smartphones has led to higher rates of bullying, especially for those who identified as LGBTQ+.

Mickelson also says the best way for parents to help their kids deal with feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide is by having straightforward talks with them.

"I've learned working with teens that if you ask the questions they typically respond. So I wouldn't be afraid to talk to them. This generation in particular seems really open to talking about their mental health issues," Mickelson said.

The report also highlights an increase in the sexual violence that teenage girls faced. According to the report, nearly one-in-five teen girls reported experiencing sexual violence in 2021. One-in-10 reported being forced to have sex.


These are both more than 20% increases compared to previous CDC studies. Mickelson says this shows the need for educating all teens on the importance of consent.

"I think part of the narrative needs to become how do we ask for consent. And so talking with youth about asking, 'is it okay if I touch you?', 'is it okay if I kiss you?'"

Mickelson also says if your teen has expressed thoughts of suicide and you are concerned for their safety, to call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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