They Told Me “This Isn’t a Hotel”: Young People’s Experiences and Perceptions of Care When Presenting to the Emergency Department with Suicide-Related Behaviour

Jacinta Freeman, Penelope Strauss, Sharynne Hamilton, Charlotte Pugh, Katherine Browne, Suzanne Caren, Chris Harris, Lyn Millett, Warwick Smith, Ashleigh Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Australia, the number of young people presenting to the emergency department with mental health concerns, in particular, suicidal behaviour (defined here as suicidal ideation, thoughts, intent and attempts) is increasing. Little is known about the experiences of Australian young people who present to hospital emergency departments with suicidal behaviour. In this qualitative study, we conducted a series of focus groups with 55 young people aged 16–25 years, with a view to developing a framework for youth suicide prevention for Western Australia. The data were analysed using a general inductive analysis approach. We explored the experiences and perceptions of the care and management of 35 young people presenting to Western Australian hospital emergency departments. Participants described a range of negative experiences relating to the emergency department environment, staff attitudes and their treatment by staff. We argue that adapting ED practices and approaches to young people presenting with suicidal thoughts and behaviours based on these findings will result in lower rates of repeated presentations and admissions to hospital and lower rates of suicide attempts and deaths by suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1377
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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