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Study finds over 70 percent of suicidal teens don't get the mental health services they need
Date:9/14/2011

SEATTLE, September 13, 2011 Suicidal teens are not likely to get the mental healthcare they need. This is according to a team of researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute, the University of Washington (UW), and Group Health Research Institute. The study, "Adolescents With Suicidal Ideation: Health Care Use and Functioning," was recently published in Academic Pediatrics.

The researchers found that only 13 percent of teens with suicidal thoughts received mental health visits through their healthcare network and only 16 percent received services in the year after, despite being eligible for and having access to mental healthcare without a referral and with relatively small co-pays. Additionally, when all types of mental health services were combined (including antidepressants and care received through outside sources), still only 26 percent of teens with suicide ideation in the study received services the year prior.

"Teen suicide is a very real issue today in the United States. Until now, we've known very little about how much or how little suicidal teens use healthcare services. We found it particularly striking to observe such low rates of healthcare service use among most teens in our study," said lead author Carolyn A. McCarty, PhD of Seattle Children's Research Institute, and research associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. Identifying suicidal ideation is critical to preventing suicide. While many experts consider suicidal thoughts normative during adolescence, this study confirms teens with suicidal ideation experience more functional impairment such as interpersonal difficulties, school problems, and mental health problems. Researchers in this study foun
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Contact: Louise Maxwell
press@seattlechildrens.org
206-987-4500
Seattle Children's
Source:Eurekalert

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