Most suicidal adolescents receive follow-up care after ER visits

Oct 01, 2010

For suicidal adolescents, the emergency department (ED) is most often the chosen portal to mental health services. New research, presented Friday, Oct. 1, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, looks at what happens to the 30 percent of suicidal adolescents who are discharged from the ED and whether they go on to access additional mental health services.

In "Predictors of Mental Health Follow up Among Adolescents with Suicidal Ideation After Discharge," researchers followed up with parents and guardians of adolescents (ages 11 to 18 years) one month after their pediatric ED visit. The adolescents had been discharged after undergoing a suicide risk assessment by a physician and a mental health professional.

The parents were asked if their son or daughter had visited a mental health professional since their ED visit, and whether or not the child had required a subsequent visit to the ED resulting in inpatient psychiatric admission. Parents were also asked about previous mental health service experiences.

Two out of three patients had seen a mental health professional within two months after an initial ED visit. Adolescents who had already been diagnosed with a mental health condition were more likely to successfully seek follow-up care. One in five had returned to the ED and required inpatient psychiatric admission.

Overall, most parents characterized their experiences as favorable.

"We plan to use the results of this study to develop interventions that will focus on delivering appropriate and effective mental health services to these high-risk teenagers," said lead study author Brad Sobolewski, MD, FAAP.

Explore further: 'Experiential products' provide same happiness boost as experiences, study finds

Provided by American Academy of Pediatrics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

8 hours ago

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

8 hours ago

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

8 hours ago

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments : 0