AI Helps Identify Critical Risk Factors for Youth Suicide Attempts


  • A recent study shows that 1 in 6 young people in 59 countries tried suicide, prompting AI-powered research.
  • AI identifies top risk factors: self-harm, anxiety, sleep issues, eating disorders, negative outlook, victimization.
  • A holistic approach is needed to combat youth suicide, considering social, psychological, and environmental factors.

In a concerning global trend, recent studies have revealed that 1 in 6 young people in 59 low- and middle-income countries have attempted suicide, underscoring the urgent need for effective preventive strategies. 

Researchers from Norway and Denmark have taken a groundbreaking approach by harnessing the power of AI, specifically machine learning, to identify key factors closely linked to suicide attempts among adolescents. 

Their findings, based on data from 173,664 Norwegian teenagers aged 13 to 18 years, have been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, shedding light on critical risk factors and offering a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of youth suicide risk.

The alarming statistics

The study unveils a stark reality, with 4.65% of the surveyed participants having attempted suicide in the past 12 months. This unsettling statistic underscores the urgency of addressing the issue and highlights the inadequacy of current methods in estimating risk factors.

Milan Obaidi, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen and a key researcher in this project, emphasizes the transformative nature of their AI-driven approach.

Unlike previous efforts that fell short by neglecting the intricate interplay of protective and risk factors, the new AI model developed by these researchers stands as the most accurate to date.

Critical risk factors unveiled

One of the most significant findings of the study is the revelation that recent self-harm is the most prominent indicator of the risk for suicide attempts among young people. In addition to this, the researchers have identified five other critical risk factors:

Internalizing Problems: This encompasses issues like anxiety and depression, which significantly contribute to the risk of suicide attempts among adolescents.

Sleep Disturbances: Sleep problems emerge as a crucial risk factor, emphasizing the need to address sleep-related issues in youth mental health programs.

Eating Disorders: The study underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing eating disorders as a risk factor in preventing suicide attempts.

Pessimistic Outlook on Future Prospects: A negative perspective on education and career prospects has been identified as a potent risk factor.

Victimization: Experiences of victimization, whether in close relationships or broader societal contexts, play a critical role in the risk of suicide attempts among young people.

The complexity of suicide risk

Milan Obaidi emphasizes that the risk of suicide attempts in youth cannot be simplified as the sum of various societal, economic, and psychological pressures. Instead, it involves a complex web of intra- and interpersonal processes. Factors such as a lack of optimism regarding education and career prospects, conflicts in close relationships, and experiences of victimization all contribute significantly to this risk.

To combat the alarming increase in suicide attempts among young people, Milan Obaidi advocates for a holistic approach that considers both risk and protective factors across various domains. This comprehensive strategy is vital for developing effective prevention and intervention programs to address this critical public health issue.

For those concerned about mental health, this groundbreaking study offers hope. The AI-driven approach promises a more precise understanding of youth suicide risk, which can lead to more effective prevention strategies.

Unlike previous attempts to use machine learning for identifying suicide risk, this new AI model has broken through the limitations of existing methods. By considering both risk and protective factors and acknowledging the complexity of the issue, it offers an unprecedented level of accuracy in assessing youth suicide risk.

The global statistics on youth suicide attempts are alarming, demanding immediate action from governments, healthcare providers, and communities worldwide. With the help of AI, we can now better identify those at risk and implement targeted interventions to save lives.

In light of this groundbreaking research, the path forward in addressing youth suicide risk is clear. A holistic approach that considers a wide range of factors, from psychological and sociological to environmental, is essential. By doing so, we can work toward effective prevention and intervention programs that will make a real difference in the lives of young people facing these challenges.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Benson Mawira

Benson is a blockchain reporter who has delved into industry news, on-chain analysis, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc.His area of expertise is the cryptocurrency markets, fundamental and technical analysis.With his insightful coverage of everything in Financial Technologies, Benson has garnered a global readership.

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