Lundquist Investigator Dr. Mohsen Saidinejad is the Lead Author of an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

mental health of children

In the Pediatrics article, “The Management of Children and Youth Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Emergencies,” Dr. Saidinejad and his co-authors note that “mental and behavioral health (MBH) conditions affect as many as 1 in 5 children younger than 18 in the United States each year.” Given the increasing need for MBH treatment for children and youth, emergency departments in hospitals are now a critical access point and safety net as the wait time for child psychiatrists can be more than 40 days. Dr. Saidinejad and his co-authors call for a best-practices approach to provide informed care for children and adolescents seeking help for their mental and behavioral health emergencies

Dr. Saidinejad and his fellow researchers concluded that mental and behavioral health emergencies are increasing in children and youth. Emergency departments have been seriously affected by the increases as the safety net for a system with critical shortcomings. The time has come to address this healthcare crisis through the following methods: addressing MBH inequities; increasing screening of ED patients for MBH conditions; identifying, treating, and referring children and youth with MBH emergencies; improving access to resources for patients and staff; utilizing standardized treatment protocols; and optimizing the use of telehealth in the treatment of pediatric patients with MBH emergencies. A dedicated multipronged, multidisciplinary approach will be necessary to provide patient-centered, trauma-informed services to improve the care of children and youth with MBH emergencies.

The article can be accessed here: