Lightning Learning: Suicidal Risk in Kids

Lightning Learning: Suicidal Risk in Kids


Between 2010-2017 there has been a 67% increase in suicides by teenagers (<19 years old).

There were 182 deaths in 2017.*

Today 25% of young people have suicidal thoughts at some point.**

Therefore, we are seeing an increase in presentations to the Emergency Department.

Suicidal thoughts may have triggers, e.g depression, low self-esteem, alcohol/drug use, future prospects. Or they may not.

Social circumstances are important. HEEADSSS is a good way to ask about this.

Persistent psychological stress can trigger a mental health crisis.


These patients ALWAYS need to be seen by the mental health team prior to discharge.***

Risk factors to consider:

  • Sex: Male sex (increases risk)

  • Age: <19 (15-19 are highest risk)

  • Depression (may be subtle)

  • Previous self harm/suicide attempts

  • Excess alcohol/substance use

  • Rational loss of thinking

  • Social support lacking

  • Organised plan (written or otherwise)

  • Negligent parenting, family stress

  • School problems

Refer to the local safeguarding team, as per your local policies.

Lightning Learning: Measles

Lightning Learning: Measles

Lightning Learning: Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)

Lightning Learning: Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)