There is little research into emergency presentations in child and adolescent mental health. The purpose of this study was to obtain an overview of number and types of presentations to a inner London child and adolescent mental health emergency service and to determine immediate and longer-term service demands. All available data on 107 consecutive child and adolescent emergency attenders were gathered using a structured data collection sheet. Half of those who presented following an episode of deliberate self-harm were considered to have no mental health disorder though a significant minority of emergency attenders had serious mental health problems. Most attenders were already known to child psychiatry or social services. Prospective study of young people who are already linked in with child mental health and/or social services but who require emergency assessments and interventions is warranted. An understanding of what breaks down in the routine care of these young people would facilitate earlier identification and more effective prevention or early intervention for these vulnerable children and adolescents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health