The Management of Children and Youth With Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Emergencies

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee, EMERGENCY NURSES ASSOCIATION Pediatric Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Mental and behavioral health (MBH) visits of children and youth to emergency departments are increasing in the United States. Reasons for these visits range from suicidal ideation, self-harm, and eating and substance use disorders to behavioral outbursts, aggression, and psychosis. Despite the increase in prevalence of these conditions, the capacity of the health care system to screen, diagnose, and manage these patients continues to decline. Several social determinants also contribute to great disparities in child and adolescent (youth) health, which affect MBH outcomes. In addition, resources and space for emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and prehospital practitioners to manage these patients remain limited and inconsistent throughout the United States, as is financial compensation and payment for such services. This technical report discusses the role of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, and provides guidance for the management of acute MBH emergencies in children and youth. Unintentional ingestions and substance use disorder are not within the scope of this report and are not specifically discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023063256
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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