From The Conversation: In the five years between 2010 and 2015, U.S. teens’ mental health greatly deteriorated. The sudden ascendance of the smartphone is most likely to blame for this increase in teen mental health issues.
“Have you ever wondered if all those people you see staring intently at their smartphones — nearly everywhere, and at all times — are addicted to them? According to a former Google product manager you are about to hear from, Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked. He is one of the few tech insiders to publicly acknowledge that the companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/
Be careful, you have to put these numbers in perspective.
The suicide rate in the United States was 14.3 per 100,000 in 1977 and then decreased to 10.8 in 2000. From 2001, it has gone up again to 13.4 in 2014.
The suicide rate in the United States varies slightly compared to other OECD countries. For example, the suicide rate in Hungary was 28.6 per 100,000 in 1960, rose to 49.7 in 1981, then plummeted to 18.10 in 2014.
In addition, we must not forget this:
Do nations’ mental health policies, programs and legislation influence their suicide rates?
An ecological study of 100 countries
Philip Burgess, Jane Pirkis, Damien Jolley, Harvey Whiteford, Shekhar Saxena
Objective: To test the hypothesis that the presence of national mental health policies, programs and legislation would be associated with lower national suicide rates.
Method: Suicide rates from 100 countries were regressed on mental health policy, program and legislation indicators.
Results: Contrary to the hypothesized relationship, the study found that after introducing mental health initiatives (with the exception of substance abuse policies), countries’ suicide rates rose.
Conclusion: It is of concern that most mental health initiatives are associated with an increase in suicide rates. However, there may be acceptable reasons for the observed findings, for example initiatives may have been introduced in areas of increasing need, or a case-finding effect may be operating. Data limitations must also be considered.
Key words: mental health policies, mental health programs, suicide prevention, suicide.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2004; 38:933–939
== Results: Mental health policies, programs and legislation as
predictors of suicide rates ==
Mental health policies, programs and legislation as predictors of suicide rates Table 4 shows the findings of the regression analysis (significant findings are in bold). A country’s adoption of a substance use policy in a given year was associated with a decrease in male, female and total suicide rates in the following year and the years beyond that. By contrast, the introduction of a mental health policy and mental health legislation was associated with an increase in male and total suicide rates, and the introduction of a therapeutic drugs policy was associated with an increase in total suicide rates.
Table 4 p. 5 (extract)
Malee and female, total % Adjusted percentage change in suicide rates
Mental health policy **+8.3%**
Mental health program +4,9%
Mental health legislation **+10,6%**
Substance use policy **-11,3%**
Therapeutic drugs policy **+7,0%**
All things being equal, the development of psychiatry and the consumption of “therapeutic” psychotropic drugs lead to a 7% to 11% increase in the suicide rate, while a policy of prevention of drug addiction decreases the suicide rate by 11%.