Evaluating suicidal ideation via telehealth
Two experts shared tips on using telehealth to screen for suicidality during the recent AAP Office Hour webinar “Considerations for Safety and Suicidality in a Telehealth Environment.”
Elise M. Fallucco, M.D, DFAACAP, AAP chapter affiliate member, and Lucien Gonzalez, M.D., M.S., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, had these suggestions:
- Ask patients about their location in case emergency services are needed.
- Ensure and discuss privacy and confidentiality.
- Have screening instruments available electronically.
- When possible, send pre-appointment screening forms through the patient portal. Share your screen to review online forms if needed.
- Be aware of red flags such as a premeditated plan or recent suicide attempt.
- Counsel about lethal means.
- Use sensitivity regarding culture and identity.
- Have crisis response plans and up-to-date community resources. Be sure referral sources are accepting new patients.
- Make a follow-up call to the emergency department after a patient is sent there to express specific concerns.
Dr. Fallucco is division chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at University of Florida Health-Jacksonville. Dr. Gonzalez is an assistant professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Listen to the segment at https://bcove.video/3kAWNpm.