Emergency room doctors beg for help treating children with mental health illnesses

August 16, 2023

NBC News

Three influential groups of pediatricians and emergency medicine providers are pleading for more support and resources as the number of children and teenagers with mental health concerns overwhelm emergency departments nationwide.

"The scope of this problem is really great," said Dr. Mohsen Saidinejad, a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But our ability to solve it is not there."

Saidinejad is the lead author of a joint policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association released Wednesday. The groups are calling for local communities to increase access to mental health services before emergency care is needed.

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