Screening as an approach for adolescent suicide prevention.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York 14642, USA.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.4). 01/2007; 36(6):614-37. DOI: 10.1521/suli.2006.36.6.614
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Among the provisions of the recently signed Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, Congress called for the use of screening to detect adolescents who are at risk for suicide. After a review of the literature, 17 studies involving screening instruments and programs were identified. We addressed the question: What do we know about the demonstrated effectiveness and safety of screening as a tool or program to prevent suicide among adolescents? While youth suicide screening programs offer the promise of improving identification for those who need treatment the most, further research is essential to understand how, when, where, and for whom screening programs can be used effectively and efficiently.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force’s Aspirational Goal 2 (screening for suicide risk) as it pertains specifically to children, adolescents, and young adults. Two assumptions are forwarded: (1) strategies for screening youth for suicide risk need to be tailored developmentally; and (2) we must use instruments that were created and tested specifically for suicide risk detection and developed specifically for youth. Recommendations for shifting the current paradigm include universal suicide screening for youth in medical settings with validated instruments.
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