EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 10-34. This statistic has doctors at Bradley Hospital in East Providence acting quickly to address the issue through a research study being conducted by the hospital’s PediMIND Program.

The study aims to better understand why some children engage in self-harm and whether there’s a link to suicide.

PediMIND Director Dr. Daniel Dickstein says that even though some children are inflicting self-harm without the intent to die, it does increase the risk of a suicide attempt by seven or eight times.

“The approach we’ve taken is to look at, in a first phase of the study, kids who have tried to kill themselves versus kids who have engaged in what’s called ‘non-suicidal self injury,'” Dickstein explained.

The second phase of the study aims to identify brain mechanisms in children who are cutting themselves and understand if they predict who will attempt suicide within a few months. The subjects are instructed to come back to the lab every three months so doctors can see if there are any changes in behavior.

Doctors hope that more children will get involved in the study so their questions can get answered sooner and those in need can be helped faster.

“We’re hoping that other families will be inspired to be part of research to make a difference so in the future we won’t say that suicide is our second leading cause of death of young people,” Dickstein said.

The study is looking to enroll 150 children that engage in non-suicidal self injury and 50 without diagnosed mental health problems.

Click here to learn more about the study.