Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2023). 44(1), 7–13. SIEC No: 20230893
Background: Suicide risk following youth psychiatric hospitalization is of significant concern. This study evaluated Linking Individuals Needing Care (LINC), a theory-driven, comprehensive care coordination approach for youth discharged from crisis services. Aims: To pilot LINC's potential effectiveness in increasing service utilization and decreasing suicide risk. Method: Participants were 460 youth patients who received LINC for approximately 90 days following discharge from crisis services. Service utilization, depressive symptoms, and suicide-related variables were measured at baseline and 30, 60, and 90 days after baseline. Results: Patients significantly increased the use of various beneficial, least restrictive services (individual therapy, medication management, and non-mental health supports) over the 90-day intervention. Significant decreases were observed in depressive symptoms, suicide ideation, and engagement in suicide-related behaviors. Limitations: Absence of a comparison group and nonparticipating families limit causal conclusions and generalizability. Conclusions: LINC may be a promising new approach following inpatient hospitalization that can engage and retain youth in services, likely resulting in improved treatment outcomes. This approach was designed emphasizing patient engagement, suicide risk assessment and management, safety planning, community networking, referral/linkage monitoring, coping and motivational strategies, and linguistic/culturally responsive practices to meet service and support needs of high-risk suicidal youth.