CHA News Article

Pediatricians Urged to Routinely Screen Adolescents for Suicide Risk Factors

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published updated guidelines to assist pediatricians and other health care professionals in identifying and helping adolescents at risk of suicide. The report replaces recommendations made in 2007 and acknowledges the role bullying and the internet may play in teen suicide risk. If an adolescent is considered to be at moderate or high risk of suicide, the guidelines recommend that arrangements for an immediate mental health professional evaluation should be made during the office visit. For teens considered to be at low risk of suicide, the guidelines recommend close follow-up and/or a referral for a timely mental health evaluation. The guidelines also highlight the value of antidepressant medications to treat those at risk.