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New Study Illustrates Teen Experiences After Suicidal Crisis

Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Further, children’s hospital visits for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts have doubled since 2008. From these statistics, it’s clear that this crisis is continuing to grow in our country.

One way we can support teens who end up in the hospital for a suicidal crisis is to learn directly from them about the care they receive and what helps them feel supported and safe. PolicyLab researchers Diana Worsley, MPH, and Stephanie Doupnik, MD, MSHP, did just that. They talked with 27 suicidal adolescents following their visits to the emergency department, and what they found is assuring that hospitals are a supportive and caring setting. More specifically, they discovered that many adolescents expressed appreciation for compassionate clinicians and receiving information about what to expect for their continuing treatment. The perspectives of these teenagers are an important source of information for continuing to improve hospital care. Their full study was published in Hospital Pediatrics, which you can find here.

Dr. Doupnik then translated the study into a moving Vox "The Highlight" piece in which she shares her firsthand experiences caring for teens with suicidal ideation, illustrates the research findings and discusses how the hospital setting made them feel safe and supported.