The decision to admit a child or adolescent into inpatient care is challenging due to the limited research evidence, the diversity of children and adolescents and their ill-health. Internationally, it has been recognised that inpatient care can be a traumatic experience for children, adolescents, their families, carers and close supports. In response to new evidence, approaches and a shift in consumers' expectations of mental health care, the Ministry of Health has published two new documents to support clinical decision making.
A guide to understanding inpatient mental health admissions for children and adolescents is a resource document for people who are currently involved, or may become involved in caring for a child or adolescent experiencing mental ill-health. This could include families and carers, social workers, peer workers, education professionals, adult mental health and non-mental health clinicians such as paediatricians and emergency department consultants, general practitioners, communities and justice professionals and children and adolescents themselves.