A child or teen suicide attempt represents much more than a medical problem. It represents a young person in crisis, crying out for help.
I am an emergency medicine physician. And among the many difficult situations that we face in emergency departments are suicide attempts. My training was meant to prepare me for the medical consequences of events like these. I can manage lacerations and gunshot wounds, overdoses, assorted injuries, and illnesses. I then consult the appropriate doctors to admit the patient for medical care, or to asses the patient’s mental health and arrange admission to a psychiatric hospital.
However, a suicide attempt, especially in a child or adolescent, represents much more than a medical problem. It represents a young person in crisis, someone who’s desperate enough to make a powerful cry for help. It also shows an equally desperate attempt to permanently end the turmoil inside their minds.
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