Authors’ conclusions: adolescents with emergency department visits for self-harm have higher rates of mortality, suicide and recurrent self-harm, as well as higher heath care cost, than matched controls. Development of algorithms and interventions than can identify and help adolescents at highest risk of recurrent self-harm is warranted.
Reviewers’ commentary: Those adolescents who presented to emergency departments with self-harm visits have higher rates of mortality from any cause, are also more likely to die by suicide, and are at increased risk of repeating self-harm emergency department visits or self-harm hospital admissions. Adolescents who were readmitted were more likely to be younger, to be female, to reside in a rural community, to have a personal medical history of abusing alcohol or other substances and to have a history of nearly every mental health concern. It is important to have sufficient treatment resources to develop interventions that can identify and help the adolescents at highest risk of recurrent self-harm.