Custom Quick Reference Information Directories
GCC Blog

We hope you find our articles informative and interesting. If you'd like to receive our monthly newsletter with articles like these, please take a minute to sign up.

Emergency Department Doctors Call for More Resources to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis

September 11th, 2023 by Guest Communications

Written by: Robin Hattersley

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association on Wednesday issued a joint policy statement calling for more support to help U.S. emergency departments (EDs) deal with the influx of children and young adults they see who are experiencing mental health crises.

The statement cites studies that found there has been an increase in emergency department visits by children and youth with mental and behavioral health emergencies, as well as the increased prevalence of depression and suicide in children, adolescents, and young adults. It also mentions the increased suicide rates in Black school-aged children, which is about two times higher compared to White children.

According to the paper, the communities dealing with these issues often don’t have adequate resources to provide treatment. When this happens, hospital emergency departments become the safety nets for those requiring acute and subacute mental and behavioral health care.

The statement also says that children and youth with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, behavioral dysregulation, immigrant children, children on welfare, youth in the juvenile justice system, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ+) youth may have additional challenges, which must be addressed.

“Because of the diversity of the populations and the high prevalence of trauma and adversity among ED patients, organizations/ED leadership should provide resources for physicians, PAs, NPs, and nurses about trauma-informed relational care as a universal approach to care,” the paper says.

The statement lists a multitude of recommendations to address the problems, such as:

  • Developing emergency department transfer protocols
  • Using telehealth to identify and divert low-acuity patients
  • Activating existing mental health mobile crisis teams to respond to schools and other locations
  • Training ED staff to recognize and provide initial care to children and youth
  • Expanding telehealth consultations in resource-limited areas
  • Developing 24-hour access to interpreters
  • Leveraging technology for safety planning
  • Providing appropriate and safe environments (such as environments that are quiet for children with autism spectrum disorder) for patients with mental and behavioral health disorders
  • Advocating for community-based behavioral services
  • Developing school-based screening and training school staff how to recognize mental and behavioral health issues in children

Read the policy statement.

Here are some other helpful resources and studies on mental health:

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

This article appeared on Campus Safety News and is shared with consent:

Guide to Guest Services
Fully customized vinyl information directories for your patients and their visitors. They are easy to update and easy to use.
Guide to Emergency Preparedness
Fully customized quick reference guides to help keep your staff prepared for emergencies.
Guide to Infection Control
Fully customized quick reference guide to help keep your staff prepared for safe infection prevention and control procedures.
Accessories for your guides
Protect your investment by utilizing one of our various mounting systems.
Other Popular Products
Customized products including 3-Ring Binders, Sports Memory Books, Menus, Hotel Directories, and more…