WASHINGTON (7News) — More families with children and adolescents are seeking help for mental health concerns in emergency rooms. A new study found that not only is the number of visits increasing but so is the severity of cases.
Emergency departments are community safety nets. If someone needs help, medical first responders are available around the clock. When it comes to mental health issues, there are limited services available at these hospital facilities.
A study in the journal Academic Pediatric found during the pandemic, fewer kids and teens went to emergency rooms for issues like depression and anxiety, instead, the young patients sought care for suicidal thoughts or self-injury. It is a striking escalation and parents are relying on ER doctors and nurses to help their children in crisis.
If an emergency room visit is followed up with mental health care, it can reduce repeat ER visits and improve health outcomes. However, finding and seeing …