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4 Ways to Improve Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department

PIPSQC is pleased to share the recent publication in Children's Hospitals Today, entitled "4 Ways to Improve Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department."

The full publication is available online at:


Across the nation, emergency departments (ED) are seeing and feeling an increase in pediatric mental health care needs. Seattle Children's is no exception. In May 2016, the hospital had 247 patients present for a primary mental health concern. In May 2019, the hospital had 374 patients - a 66% increase in three years.

These children and adolescents arrive at the ED with suicidal thoughts, behaviors, tendencies for self-directed violence, aggression and a loss of function related to mental illness. With this increase in volume comes an increase in acuity: actively suicidal patients and risk of elopement. Here's how Seattle Children's is making efforts to improve care for mental health patients in the ED.


For more information about Seattle Children's Zero Suicide Initiative Pathway, please visit:

For more information about the Zero Suicide framework, please visit: