EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M. (ET), MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Brett Burstein, M.D.C.M., Ph.D., M.P.H., email Julie Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org. The full study is linked to this news release.
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Bottom Line: Many children with suicide attempts/suicidal thoughts present to emergency departments (EDs). An analysis of U.S. ED data from 2007 to 2015 estimates annual visits almost doubled from 580,000 to 1.12 million for suicide attempts/suicidal thoughts by children ages 5 to 18 years. As a proportion of all pediatric encounters in EDs, suicide attempts/suicidal thoughts increased from 2.17% in 2007 to 3.50% in 2015. Limitations of the study are that a cause cannot be inferred from the results and it’s possible that nonsuicidal self-harm was incorrectly coded by physicians as suicide attempts/suicidal thoughts. Study findings suggest a need to strengthen community mental health resources, increase ED physician preparedness for dealing with these cases, and develop initiatives to decrease suicide risk among children and teens.
Author: Brett Burstein, M.D.C.M., Ph.D., M.P.H., Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Canada, and coauthors
Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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