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Researchers from the NIMH report that many suicidal adolescents do not receive appropriate mental health care. And, they suggest ways to address this problem including incorporating suicide risk assessments into routine physical exams or mental health screenings.
Excerpts from NIMH post:
Most adolescents who are considering suicide or who have attempted suicide do not receive specialized mental health services, according to an analysis published online August 15, 2012, in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.
National survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC notes that approximately 14 percent of high school students seriously consider suicide each year, 11 percent have a suicide plan, and 6 percent attempt suicide. Other research has suggested that less than half of teens who attempt suicide received mental health services in the year prior to their attempt.
Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., of NIMH and colleagues analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement NCS-A, a nationally representative, face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens ages 13 to 18.
The results of this study suggest that depression and other mood disorders are not the only pathways to suicide. They also highlight the importance of integrating risk assessment for suicide into routine physical and mental health care for teens. Even if adolescents are in treatment, they should continue to be monitored for suicidal ideation and behaviors, the researchers concluded.
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