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Supporting children after mental health hospitalization

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Background: Increasingly, children and youth are turning to hospitals for support during mental health crises. We therefore set out to identify what puts young people at risk for rehospitalization and what can be done to better support them in community.
Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating interventions aimed to support young people with mental health concerns after discharge from hospitalization.
Results: After applying our inclusion criteria, we accepted two RCTs, evaluating Supportive Discharge Services among British youth and Home Treatment among German youth. Supported Discharge Service reduced self-harm and increased youth engagement in school and other productive activities. In contrast, Home Treatment made no difference to young people’s overall functioning. Still, both Supported Discharge Service and Home Treatment studies provided evidence of cost-effectiveness – suggesting that costs of providing post-hospitalization supports are outweighed by the benefits when compared to typical services.
Conclusions: After mental health hospitalization, young people can be supported to return home more quickly through discharge interventions which also have the advantage of being more cost-effective than regular services.
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Publication title
Children's Mental Health Research Quarterly
Document title
Supporting children after mental health hospitalization
Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University
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Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University
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