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Health Agencies Update
April 23/30, 2019

Screening Preteens in the Emergency Department for Suicide Risk

JAMA. 2019;321(16):1557. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4588

Nearly a third of emergency department (ED) patients aged 10 to 12 years screened positive for suicide risk, a recently published study by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) researchers found.

“Typically, suicidal thoughts and behaviors are seen in older teens,” coauthor Lisa Horowitz, PhD, MPH, said in a statement. “This study shows that children as young as 10 who show up in the emergency department may be thinking about suicide, and that screening all preteens—regardless of their presenting symptoms—may save lives.” Horowitz is a clinical scientist in the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs.