NEW YORK, JUNE 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Pediatrics today released a report "Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents" by Benjamin Shin, MD, PhD. In reaction to the report, Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the nation's largest suicide prevention organization, released this statement:
"First we applaud the American Academy of Pediatrics for dedicating its resources to publishing a brave and bold report on such a critical topic. We lose too many young Americans to suicide each year. Tragically some of these deaths could have been prevented if their medical providers had screened for depression and other mental health conditions, just as they screen for physical conditions today.
Physicians, including pediatricians, can play a critical role in identifying mental health conditions and in preventing suicide but it's imperative that healthcare systems gear up for the needed system changes to better detect and care for people at risk for suicide. Additionally pediatricians and other healthcare providers should receive suicide prevention training in order to best implement the AAP Report's recommendations. The report contains practical advice for how clinicians can approach their patients in dialog, use screening instruments, involve family, and pay attention to the relevant psychosocial challenges adolescents may be facing.
At AFSP, we are investing in Project 2025, a large-scale comprehensive analysis and action plan aimed at reducing the suicide rate in the U.S. – 20 percent by year 2025. Using a predictability model, designed by CALIBRE Systems, AFSP has found a series of actions which could have the greatest impact and save the most lives – one of these areas is the need for suicide prevention training of our health care providers.
The AAP Report affirms what we've learned through research and analysis – that mental health is just as important as physical health – and we need to adequately train those who provide health care services to our families. Our children's lives depend on it and we must not let them down."
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that's smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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SOURCE American Foundation for Suicide Prevention