FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) --The majority of suicidal
adolescents who seek care in a hospital emergency room (ER) go on
to receive follow-up care by a mental health professional in the
next 30 days, a new survey of parents and guardians indicates.
About 30 percent of suicidal adolescents in the United States
are treated for mental health problems in the ER, the authors
noted. Nearly 95 percent of these children, they found, go on to
visit a mental health professional in the month following their
initial ER visit.
Study author Dr. Brad Sobolewski, of Cincinnati Children's
Hospital Medical Center, is scheduled present his team's findings
Friday in San Francisco at the Academy of Pediatrics National
Conference and Exhibition.
For their survey, Sobolewski and his associates focused on the
parents and guardians of a group of adolescents between the ages of
11 and 18 who had undergone a suicide risk assessment administered
by ER health-care professionals.
The authors found that nearly a third of the teens continued to
have suicidal thoughts and behavior after their initial ER visit.
Teens who had been diagnosed with a mental health condition prior
to their ER visit were more likely to have visited a mental health
professional for follow-up, they added.
Nearly 20 percent of the teens ended up returning to an ER for
mental health problems, and most were admitted to the facility's
inpatient psychiatric ward.
As a whole, parents rated their child's mental health experience
positively, the research team found.
"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," Sobolewski said in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For more on adolescents and mental health issues, visit the
American Academy of Child & Adolescent