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The number of children and teens attempting suicide in Charleston has reached previously unseen levels during the pandemic, according to experts with the Medical University of South Carolina.

Meanwhile, The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,585 new cases of the coronavirus and 51 confirmed deaths today. With 27,073 tests reported, 8.7% were positive.

No hard numbers are available to determine relative changes in suicide rates over the last year, but anecdotal accounts from MUSC experts say what they are seeing in the hospital’s intensive care unit points to a growing problem.

Similar reports are appearing across the country. Pediatric mental health has been demonstrably negatively impacted by the pandemic, and hospitals in other states have reported higher-than-normal numbers of childhood suicides this past year.

Factors such as grief, isolation and financial insecurity are just a few potentially contributing factors. Advocates and nonprofit groups are hoping a return to in-person schooling will help to alleviate some of those stresses for children.

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