Suicidal behavior in adolescents: a memo for palliative care providers too?
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics has come out with guidelines for identifying suicidal behavior in adolescents. See Galagali PM et al in Indian Academy of Pediatrics Consensus Guidelines on Prevention and Management of Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents
Palliative care providers need to take note of this because:
- Palliative care is not only for the patient, but also for the family,
- Adolescents among patients go through the combined challenges of dealing with adolescence as well as with a serious illness, and
- Adolescents among family members of patients feel neglected and challenged emotionally and socially.
A word of caution, nevertheless: While the first question would be very good as part of screening by a pediatrician who already has built a relationship with the young person, it could be felt as insensitive and as an invasion of self, if administered by an investigator, especially if abruptly. The question involves exploration of a certain space in one’s mind that is extremely private.