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Management of Suicidal Adolescents Presenting to the Emergency Department

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 2 ]

Author(s):

Nizete-Ly Valles*, Dana Billups, Topaz Sampson and Toi Blakley Harris   Pages 81 - 91 ( 11 )

Abstract:


Background: Increasingly, adolescents are presented to hospital emergency departments with suicidal ideation (SI) and depression. Even among those who come in with other complaints, depression and SI are common. Emergency personnel are placed in the default position of providing care for these patients, but often lack sufficient knowledge and skills to do this effectively.

Objective: The aim of this paper is to offer guidance to emergency personnel and describe goals and strategies for screening and brief interventions.

Methods: We review risk factors, assessment tools and evidence-based interventions that can be utilized by mental health professionals working in EDs and by ED staff in the absence of mental health professionals.

Conclusion: Emergency departments can serve a critical role in risk management and treatment of adolescent depression and suicidal ideation. All patients presenting to the ED should be screened for current and past depression and suicidal ideation or attempts. Brief interventions can be delivered in the ED that can increase the likelihood that patients will receive follow- up care.

Keywords:

Depression, suicidal ideation, adolescents, emergency management, brief interventions, risk factors.

Affiliation:

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030



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