SAMHSA report shows system of care services reduce suicide-related incidents among youth with serious emotional disturbances

Thursday, May 5, 2016 Mental Health News J E 4

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report shows that behavioral health treatment and supports provided through systems of care can have far-reaching benefits for children and adolescents who experience mental disorders. Some of these benefits include a reduction in rates of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.  

Approximately 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States experience a serious emotional disturbance (SED) that impacts their ability to function at home, in school, or in the community. Yet according to the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only about half of all children and adolescents in need of behavioral and emotional services receive them. 

SAMHSA's new report – Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Services and Supports Through Systems of Care –  examines how services provided through community-based systems of care positively impact behavioral health outcomes for children and adolescents with SED. A system of care is a collaborative approach to providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. 

According to the findings, the rate of suicidal thoughts among children and adolescents with SED who received system of care services and supports dropped significantly from 26 percent six months prior to entering a system of care to 15 percent following one year of service access -- a reduction of 43 percent.  Similarly, the percentage of children and adolescents with SED who had made an actual suicide attempt dropped from 9 percent to 5 percent following one year of access to system of care services and supports -- a reduction of 4 percent.

"The report demonstrates that systems of care can change lives," says SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto. "Through the combined efforts of child-serving organizations, children, adolescents, and young adults with serious emotional disturbances can improve their health, thrive, and reach their full potential."

The report also illustrates how systems of care forge strong partnerships between behavioral health and juvenile justice systems, resulting in a reduction in juvenile arrest rates. The rate of arrest among adolescents aged 11 years and older dropped significantly from 20 to 10 percent following one year of access to system of care services and supports.

This SAMHSA report was released today in recognition of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day). Awareness Day shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child's mental health, and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development. To view the complete report, visit

More than 1,100 communities and 150 national collaborating organizations and federal partners participate in community events, youth educational programs, health fairs, art exhibits, and social networking campaigns in observance of Awareness Day.  Each year, a national event in Washington, DC, complements these local activities. The 2016 national event takes place tonight at 7 p.m. EDT at The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs' Jack Morton Auditorium.

For more information about Awareness Day, or to view the live webcast of tonight's launch event, visit

Follow #HeroesofHope to join the conversation about Awareness Day 2016 on Twitter.

SAMHSA funds the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If anyone, including an adolescent or young adult, is in emotional crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.


To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)



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