Approaches to Adolescents Presenting in Crisis to Emergency Departments in Ireland
There has been a significant increase in presentations of young people in crisis to the Paediatric ED’s and three Liaison Child and Adolescent Services in Dublin. Suicide and self harm are pressing problems for the adolescent population and a common cause of ED presentation.
Several approaches to this have been taken by the UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry team. The team led a two day training programme on Therapeutic Assessment of Self Harm, in collaboration with Dr. Dennis Ougrin, South London and Maudsley trust. This two day intensive programme for interdisciplinary professionals provided practical skills for the intensive, supportive assessment of young people who self harm.
The UCD CAP group are also providing teaching and training around these themes for ED and Paediatric trainees through the major teaching hospitals, the RCPI and the ICGP. Clinicians from the group are engaging with the National Deliberate Self Harm strategy to advocate for children and families, and undertaking audit and research around self harm across the three paediatric hospitals in Dublin. Professor McNicholas has hosted several SSRA projects exploring emergency presentations to paediatric hospitals.
Finally, the team continues to support the SPACE programme, a group intervention for parents of young people who self harm and supported by a previous RCT. Recently a small seed funding grant has allowed the development of a research assistant role for this programme. Parents from across Dublin are referred to this group, which is delivered by the clinical team at Children’s University Hospital Temple St.