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n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Managing suicidal adolescents : main article
Suicidal adolescents can evoke anxiety and even hostility in clinicians, and a calm approach will benefit the clinician, the patient and her / his family.
Depressive symptoms must be assessed early on as this helps to establish the course of the problem and its management.
Assessing suicide risk is a significant component of the initial consultation.
Levels of hopelessness and availability of support from significant others are among the useful indicators of suicide risk.
The first stage of dealing with a suicidal adolescent is crisis intervention, which involves supporting, containing and ensuring she / he knows that someone cares.
Once the crisis dissipates, intervention must be aimed at the underlying issues, which are often interpersonal conflicts.
Individual consultations with the adolescent must focus on helping her / him learn problem-solving skills.
Family sessions are also important, since they have a role to play in helping the young person.
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