A Critique on Psychiatric Inpatient Admissions for Suicidality in Youth

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For the last few decades, psychiatric inpatient admissions for the treatment of suicidality in US youth have been increasing. Nonetheless, since 2007, the national rate of completed suicides by youth has steadily and sizably increased. Therefore, a literature review was performed to evaluate the usefulness of the psychiatric inpatient admission of suicidal youths. The analysis concluded that suicidality is surprisingly common in youth, completed suicide is very uncommon in early adolescence, suicidal ideation is a major reason in early adolescence for inpatient admission, girls are admitted to psychiatric inpatient units three times more than boys even though boys complete suicide four times more than girls, inpatient stays average 6 days and are quite expensive, and repeat attempts after inpatient treatment are common. Thus, filling more beds for youth with suicidality lacks evidence of a public health, long-term benefit. Expanding the focus in psychiatry to population efforts including means reductions is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021


  • Inpatient
  • adolescence
  • crisis intervention
  • critique
  • suicidality
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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