COVID-19 and the impact on psychiatric and suicide-related emergency department visits of 5–18-year-Old youth in Israel

Liat Itzhaky, Yafit Levin, Michal Har-Sinay, Tomer Levy, Joy Benatov, Gil Zalsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

COVID-19 has been found to take a toll on the mental health of children and adolescents worldwide. This study retrospectively evaluated the changes in the number of general and suicide-related visits to a pediatric psychiatric emergency department (ED) at Geha Mental Health Center in Israel and the distribution of sex and age of the 5-18-year-old youth who visited the ED. The study looked at visits from the pre-pandemic years to the first and second years of the pandemic. The findings showed a sharp decrease in visits at the beginning of the pandemic, followed by a significant increase in the first year and a nonsignificant decline in the second year. The proportion of girls’ ED visits was higher in the pandemic years compared to the pre-pandemic years. Regarding suicide-related visits, after a sharp decline at the beginning of the pandemic, the number of visits increased at a rate similar to the pre-pandemic period. We conclude that the pattern of change was similar to that of other population-level exposures to continuous stress conditions. Further research on the vulnerability of girls in similar situations is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume168
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • COVID-19
  • Emergency department
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Behavior
  • Suicidal ideation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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