Referral Patterns for Emergency Psychiatric Evaluations and Effect of School Mental Health Services in New York City, 2018

Ryan St. Pierre-Hetz, Ellen Silver, Linda Chokroverty, Kari Collins, Hnin Khine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pediatric mental health issues are increasing while access to care is decreasing. This is reflected in a growing number of patients seeking emergency psychiatric evaluations (EPEs) in the emergency department (ED). METHODS: This was a retrospective review of patients seeking EPE in the ED of a children's hospital between September and December 2018, which compares patients referred from the community versus those from schools as well as patients from schools with and without school-based mental health services (SMH). RESULTS: A total of 546 EPEs were analyzed, with 187 (34%) referred from schools. School referrals were younger, had a shorter length of stay and lower admission rates. When comparing those from schools with SMH, those referred from schools without SMH were younger and less acutely ill. CONCLUSIONS: Higher acuity children from schools with SMH suggest that SMH staff managed less severe situations on site. The role of SMH as a triaging tool and provider of mental health services should be studied as they may reduce the burden on EDs for EPEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of School Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • mental health
  • psychiatry
  • school health services
  • school psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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