Helping Emergency Rooms Prepare for Kids in Crisis

At a time when increasing numbers of children are showing up in emergency rooms with mental health issues, less than half of the nation’s hospitals have written protocols in place for care coordination and management of kids in crisis – and that number falls to about a third in rural areas, two senior HRSA leaders reported in a recent webcast.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people, age 10 to 19 years old. And absent immediate intervention, the risk of a suicide attempt or death by self-harm is highest within 30 days of discharge from an emergency department.

Those findings are the impetus behind a new HRSA toolkit to help emergency room staff manage young people in psychiatric distress, said Associate Administrators Dr. Michael Warren and Tom Morris.

Learn more about the new toolkit.