August 16, 2023

Emergency Physicians Call for Resources, Collaboration to Better Address Pediatric Mental Health

With rising numbers of children and adolescents seeking help for mental and behavioral health emergencies, collaborative strategies to address circumstances that affect patients and care teams are needed.

ACEP, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) call for systemic changes, more resources, and a focus on inequities in a new joint policy.

“Mental and behavioral health emergencies are on the rise and escalating among children and youth,” said Christopher S. Kang, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. “Emergency physicians continue to do all they can for these vulnerable patients, while limited community and specialty resources, staffing challenges and systemic inequities accentuate systemic gaps in care.”

“These factors add to the challenges in already crowded emergency departments with limited bed space available,” Dr. Kang said. “Compassionate, collaborative solutions are needed to improve local and national approaches to preventing and treating mental and behavioral emergencies.”

The statement is published in September’s Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Read the press release.

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