179604 Utah Youth Suicide Study: Evidence-Based Suicide Risk Reduction for Juvenile Offenders

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:50 PM

Sarah R. Halbern, MSPH , Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Michelle A. Moskos, PhD, MPH/HSA , Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Steve Alder, PhD , Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Han Kim, PhD , School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Public Health Program, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT
Douglas Gray, MD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
One of the most devastating consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or under-treated mental illness is suicide. Utah Youth Suicide Study findings demonstrated that 63% of youth who died by suicide had contact with the juvenile courts. Utah's Juvenile Court provided opportunities for suicide prevention, as nearly 70% of juvenile offenders screen positive for mental health problems. Youth in the intervention group of this pilot study, who received appropriate mental health screening, referral for treatment and rapid access to psychiatric and in-home family services demonstrated significant mental health status improvement, as well as increased suppression, which decreased the length of time spent in out-of-home court placements. Findings highlight the importance of ensuring continuity of mental health care for juvenile offenders before out-of-home court placement. Ideally, mental health screening, referral, and treatment should be initiated when youth enter the juvenile court system in probation settings, a time when youth remain with their families.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to replicate procedures for screening, referral, and treatment of juvenile offenders in probation settings experiencing risk related to mental illness and suicide. 2. Participants will be able to understand, draft, and implement policy related to mental illness and suicide risk assessment in juvenile court probation settings. 3. Participants will learn evidenced-based evaluation techniques to collect and analyze mental illness and suicide risk data from screening, referral, and treatment procedures.

Keywords: Psychiatric Epidemiology, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the necessary work to do so.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Psychiatric Epidemiology
See more of: Epidemiology