Using predictive analytics algorithms, a universal screening tool can accurately determine an adolescent’s suicide risk and alert providers of which patients are in need of follow-up interventions, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers stated that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens in the US, and the suicide rate among adolescents in the US has grown by 62 percent since 2000. In 2018, the US reported its highest annual number of adolescent suicide deaths that included 1,750 young people aged 12 to 17.
While the number of suicide deaths among teens are clearly on the rise, many at-risk individuals aren’t receiving the mental health services they need. It can be very challenging for providers to detect which of their young patients need the most help.
“Too many young people are dying by suicide and many at high risk go completely unrecognized and untreated,” said lead author Cheryl King, PhD, a professor, clinical child psychologist, and director of the Youth and Young Adult Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine.
“About half of the youth who die by suicide have never received any mental health services and some die on their first suicide attempt. We saw an urgent need to improve proactive, universal suicide screening of young people.”
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