Teen Suicide is one reason for Erlanger Children’s new unit


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Erlanger Medical Center is helping the fight against teen suicides.

Erlanger Behavioral Health opened their adolescent beds.

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News12’s Danielle Moss has the details.

Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in Tennessee?

According to Children’s Hospital of Erlanger, 16% of High School students in Tennessee have seriously considered committing suicide, 13% of high schoolers in Tennessee have made a suicide attempt plan and 8% of high schoolers say that they have attempted suicide.

Because of these statistics, Erlanger is opening a pediatric unit to their Behavioral Health hospital.

They will have beds for children 13 to 17 that have serious mental health issues and need to be in an inpatient environment.

CEO Don Mueller says “Here at the Children’s Hospital of Erlanger, we are the place of last resort for many of these families. They come to us when there is nowhere else to go. They come when their kids are trying to commit suicide and they don’t know what else to do.”

Mueller thinks that help should be available for teens, before they even get to Erlanger.

“If you really want to effect mental health in high schoolers, you have to get to them where they spend their time and that’s in schools. So I applaud Dr. Johnson for proposing a budget that includes increases for social workers and the number of school counselors that are there in the high schools.”

The hospital will start taking referrals on Monday.

In Chattanooga, Danielle Moss News 12 Now.