Helping Kids in Crisis: Managing Psychiatric Emergencies in Children and Adolescents

Review


Drs. Haddad and Gerson, and their collaborating authors, have written an excellent, comprehensive and instructive guide on to how to think about, approach, assess, and care for these patients and their families. "How to" care for common clinical presentations, e.g. depressed and/or suicidal child or adolescent, the agitated/violent patient, to the not so common, e.g. patients in the juvenile justice or law enforcement system and the "odd" child, are covered in a clear and practical manner. Each chapter begins with an illustrative case presentation, and closes with succinct, easy to follow flow diagram, summarizing the chapter's conceptual and clinical information. Additionally, the too familiar problems patients and non-mental health clinicians experience accessing the mental health care system are addressed in the two chapters on how to find (mental healthcare) help and models for Emergency Psychiatry, both within and outside of the ED setting. --Thomas Chun, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, The Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Helping Kids in Crisis: Managing Psychiatric Emergencies in Children and Adolescents is a must-read guide for parents, teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, youth program directors and anyone else who works with children and adolescents on a day to day basis. The wisdom of the authors, all of whom have experience working in psychiatric emergency systems, is much needed advice as more children are sent to emergency departments across the country for behavioral emergencies and threats. Chapters on common crisis situations seen in children and adolescents, such as tantrums, suicidal threats or behavior, aggression, and the management of the odd child, each follow the same format and include a table of risk factors, guidance on when to refer the child for mental health treatment, as well as a flow chart to follow and use in determining whether the child should be referred to an emergency department for immediate evaluation. This design makes the book especially useful as an easy to use and quick reference as situations arise. The final two chapters provide valuable information on the kinds of resources available for children and the different services that may be provided in the emergency department when a crisis rises to the level of needing emergency care. --Rachel Lipson Glick, M.D., Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, and Medical Director, Psychiatric Emergency Services, University of Michigan Health System