WASHINGTON: New Initiative Aims to Prevent Youth Suicide

December 06, 2019
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Washington

On the Pulse

Seattle Children’s Hospital is implementing a Zero Suicide initiative to prevent youth suicide. Using a five-question tool, the hospital is screening patients 10 and older for suicide risk in its emergency department and inpatient settings. Those who screen positive are connected with mental health support. “Early detection of suicidal thoughts is critical to preventing youth suicide,” said Molly Adrian, a psychologist and co-leader of the initiative. “So, we implemented the pathway to ensure our patients are asked about their risk and that we follow up accordingly.” Since the initiative launched in March, the hospital has screened more than 5,000 patients presenting for non-psychiatric reasons. The initiative has also provided extra training to nurses and other providers in how to talk with children about suicide.

Spark Extra! Check out the Zero Suicide Toolkit to learn how to identify patients with suicide risk.