Youth suicide prevention: Does access to care matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose of review Recent increases in adolescent suicide rates after a decade of decline highlight the relevance of pediatric suicide prevention. Existing strategies to intervene with youth at risk for suicide are largely based on the premise that access to effective services is of critical importance. This review aims to examine the relationship between youth suicide and access to care. Recent findings Promising reductions in suicidal thinking and behavior have been associated with the application of manualized psychotherapies, collaborative interventions in primary care, lithium for mood-disordered adults, and clozapine in schizophrenia. Suicide rates correlate inversely with indices of care access across the lifespan, including antidepressant prescription rates. Summary Suicide is a preventable cause of death, and any public health relevant effort to prevent youth suicide must include improving access to effective care for at-risk youth as a strategy. Education and training of professionals and consumers, the integration of mental health services in primary care, and the use of novel technologies to track and maintain contact with at-risk youth are worthy of study. Additional research on the relationship between specific treatments, especially antidepressants, and youth suicide risk reduction is desperately needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antidepressive agents
  • Health services accessibility
  • Mood disorders
  • Primary Healthcare
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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