March 2, 2004
Kathleen Pasley, Director of Development and Communications
202.966.7300, ext. 120, email@example.com
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry applauds Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) for his leadership in holding today’s hearing on youth suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to-14-year-olds.
Depression and suicidal feelings are treatable mental disorders. The child or adolescent with these ideations needs to have his or her illness recognized and diagnosed, and appropriate treatment plans developed. When parents are in doubt whether their child has a serious problem, a psychiatric examination can be very helpful.
Increased access to mental health care will help prevent adolescent suicide. Barriers to accessing appropriate mental health care, including cost and availability of specialists, such as child and adolescents psychiatrists, must be removed. Enactment of state and federal mental health parity laws will remove the cost barrier for children, adolescents and their families.
The AACAP supports the following policies that relate to teen suicide prevention and treatment:
- The creation and funding of suicide prevention programs which destigmatize mental illness and include screening instruments to identify adolescents at risk for suicide.
- The implementation of community-based early intervention strategies which identify children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders.
- Increasing research into the causes of suicide and effective treatments.
- Increasing the availability of school-based mental health services.
- Increasing training support for child and adolescent mental health specialists.
For additional information see the following AACAP Facts for Families and Practice Parameters on youth suicide:
Facts for Families:
#10 Teen Suicide
#3 Teens: Alcohol and Other Drugs
#4 The Depressed Child
#37 Children and Firearms, and
#38 Manic-Depressive Illness in Teens
Practice Parameters (all pdf files):
Practice Parameters for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Depressive Disorders.
Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Suicidal Behavior
Practice Parameters for the Psychiatric Assessment of Children and Adolescents
Practice Parameter for the Use of Stimulant Medications in the Treatment of Children, Adolescents and Adults.
Your Child (1998 Harper Collins)/Your Adolescent (1999 Harper Collins).