Managing adolescent behavioural and mental health problems in the Emergency Department

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Abstract

Children and young people with behavioural issues frequently present to Emergency Departments. These are complex cases, often with a long preceding history. Caring for them requires a structured approach to ensure safety for the patient and all those involved. The HEADSS assessment is used as a framework. The Emergency Department focuses on treatment of the acute behavioural issues in the least restrictive manner possible. Ongoing behavioural issues are managed with referral to community and specialist resources.

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