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Research Mentor Name

Jordan Braciszewski

Research Mentor Email Address


Institution / Department

Henry Ford Health System

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Introduction: Suicide rates among adolescents have risen steadily since 2007, creating a dire need to expand prevention protocols. Healthcare systems have been identified as a key avenue for identification and intervention. To date, no comprehensive analysis has been done to understand adolescent-specific characteristics and healthcare utilization prior to suicide death.

Methods: A case-control study was conducted using records from eight healthcare systems nationwide. Data from 450 subjects aged 10-24 who died by suicide between the years 2000-2013 was matched with 4500 controls based on health system and time period of membership. We examined past-year health diagnoses and patterns of visit types and frequency.

Results: Adolescents who died by suicide were more likely to have at least one mental health disorder (52% vs 16%), as well as each individual disorder. Physical health disorders were also more likely among this group. Close to half (49%) and nearly all (89%) of youth who died by suicide had a health care visit in the month and year prior to their death, respectively. Outpatient visits were most common, with suicide decedents averaging 8 in the year before death.

Conclusion: With nearly half (48%) of adolescents who died by suicide lacking a mental health diagnosis in the year prior to their death, it is no longer sufficient to rely on mental health services to capture at-risk youth. High rates of healthcare utilization among those who died by suicide indicate a strong need for improving identification of youth while they are seeking services, thereby preventing future deaths.


Child Psychology | Clinical Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Medicine and Health Sciences