ED STOP Suicide QI Collaborative kicks off with 86 teams

  • Published March 2, 2023
Suicide QIC

The Emergency Department (ED) Suicide and Treatment Options to Prevent (STOP) Suicide Quality Improvement (QI) Collaborative launched Feb. 2 with 86 ED-based teams consisting of 338 participants in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. The collaborative also includes 27 EMSC State Partnership Program managers and 17 Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) representatives.

The ED STOP Suicide QI Collaborative was catalyzed in part by the youth mental health emergency declared by the American Academy of Pediatrics and 134 other professional organizations.

"ED STOP comes about in the confluence of increasing rates of pediatric suicide spectrum behavior and striking reliance on the ED as the only point of access to care for many children in communities around the U.S.,” says Merritt “Chip” D. Schreiber, PhD, a member of the collaborative’s advisory council.

While nearly three-quarters of all EDs have a clinical care policy/plan for addressing children who present to the ED with mental health emergencies, the mental health crisis, tripledemic, and closure of pediatric inpatient units have placed increased strain on EDs to care for these patients. “Our goal is to bolster EDs across diverse communities to help better identify at-risk youth and prevent the devastating consequences of pediatric suicide,” says Moh Saidinejad, MD, MS, MBA, a member of the collaborative advisory council and EIIC's executive team.

The collaborative brings together multidisciplinary teams of nurses, physicians, social workers, mental health counselors, EMTs, and others with experts through learning sessions, fireside chats, and coaching opportunities. Participating EDs are varied in their demographics:

  • 61% are adult and pediatric mixed EDs,
  • 18% are pediatric-specific EDs in general hospitals,
  • 18% are children’s hospital EDs, and
  • 2% are from “standby” EDs (EDs with a physician on call).

In the coming months, teams will develop QI projects around the topics of suicide screening, mental health assessment, ED-based interventions, and discharge/safety planning. The overall goal is to exchange evidence-based best practices and optimize the care and follow-up of children and adolescents presenting with acute suicidality.

Learn more about the ED STOP Suicide QI Collaborative or sign up to be notified when registration opens for the next QI collaborative: Pediatric Readiness Quality Improvement Collaborative. You can also check out clinical guidelines for pediatric suicidality in emergency settings as part of the Pediatric Education and Advocacy Kit (PEAK) launched last fall.