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Mental Health in the Emergency Department

While 15% of children and youth live with a mental illness, only 1 in 6 receives any substantial mental health services. Emergency Departments (ED) are increasingly becoming a primary source to obtain mental health services for children and youth. Some researchers propose that this increase is due to lack of inpatient and outpatient mental health services. The range of mental health emergency services provided and the subsequent direct and indirect follow-up care after discharge from the emergency department varies with limited understanding of the factors that influence clinical decision making. The long-term goal of this research is to develop evidence-based practice and clinical guidelines for the delivery of ED mental health services for children and youth.
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