chapter  8
20 Pages

Hope and Energy: Preventing Adolescent Suicide

In the general hospital where I worked for many years, the demand for adolescent and family treatment was high, and community resources were few. My team of three or four professionals operated on a triage model where we saw the most complex, under-resourced teens and families and referred the rest to the handful of other counselors available in the community. An exception to this rule occurred when we were training interns: we tried to begin their practice opportunities with adolescents and families whose concerns were likely to be (we thought) a little more straightforward. So, for Ned, a brandnew intern, we selected a family from the waiting list who might normally have been referred out. According to our forms, Susan, age fifteen, was in conflict with her parents regarding rules about curfew and school performance and attendance.