Integration of Youth Suicide Screening into Pediatric Practice

Turning Research into Real World Practice: Detecting and Managing Suicide Risk in Medical and School Settings

Media Contact:  Anne Moss Rogers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Baltimore, MD, Month, date- In 2017, 6,769 youth ages 10-24 died by suicide, positioning suicide as the second leading cause of death among this age group for the eighth consecutive year. Previous research has identified that many youths who die by suicide visited a healthcare setting just weeks preceding their death, but were not detected. In response to the rising suicide rates, The Joint Commission (TJC) has recommended that all medical patients be screened for suicide risk, highlighting medical settings as critical venues to identify and intervene with youth at risk.

Many hospitals and outpatient care clinics have begun implementing suicide risk screening programs in their standard practice. One tool being utilized is the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ). The ASQ is an evidence-based, twenty-second suicide risk screen developed at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for use in medical settings to identify youth ages 10-24 at risk for suicide. The ASQ contains four standard questions with an additional fifth question to assess for acuity if the patient is “positive” for suicide risk. Successful implementation of a screening program in medical settings requires physician and nurse champions and a three-tiered screening approach to feasibly and efficiently manage patients who screen positive.

Lisa Horowitz, PhD, MPH, Staff Scientist at the NIMH, Jeff Bridge PhD at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University, John Campo, MD at WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, and Anne Moss Rogers of Emotionally Naked LLC and Beacon Tree Foundation, will lead a symposium at the Pediatric Academic Society (PAS) Meeting on April 28, 2019 in Baltimore, Md on implementing suicide risk screening in medical and school settings.  

The four speakers have a two-hour time slot and will present on:

  1. The Youth Suicide Risk Clinical Pathway, utilizing the ASQ Suicide-Screening Questions developed for the pediatric Emergency Department, and validated on the inpatient medical/surgical unit and in the outpatient primary care setting
  2. Discussion of suicide risk screening and the inadequacy of depression screens to detect suicide risk in primary care
  3. Data and teachings from the Signs of Suicide (SOS) school suicide prevention program
  4. Point of view from a suicide loss survivor, Rogers, whose son, Charles, died by suicide just weeks after visiting an outpatient clinic. She will advocate for screening and present on how to leverage social media for suicide prevention
  5. How research studies in suicide prevention, screening and management have been translated into practical applications that can be utilized in medical and school settings

Studies and more information on the tool, can be found on the ASQ Suicide Screening Tool page on the NIMH website. Educational videos.

Responsible reporting on suicide and the inclusion of stories of hope and resilience can prevent more suicides.

You can find more information on safe messaging about suicide here.  If you’re feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website

8 thoughts on “Integration of Youth Suicide Screening into Pediatric Practice”

  1. The work you are doing will have giant ripple effects on the lives of so many. Thank you for following the prompting in your heart.

    1. Charles’ music helped me understand and know what needs to be done. We need more coping skills in schools to equip students with the toolbox to manage life which is the Preventure program we are integrating in schools this fall and this screening tool to prevent crisis. Thank you Maureen for your support. It really does mean so much.

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