Cohen Highlights Gaps in Psychiatric Hospitalization Data

Professor of Social Welfare David Cohen was cited in a MedPage Today article about knowledge gaps in literature surrounding youth psychiatric admissions. A recent study in the United Kingdom found that youth with certain mental health diagnoses, including substance abuse and intellectual disability — as well as youth who were Black or of an older age group — were more likely to experience involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. However, data on youth mental health treatment and hospitalization in the United States is lacking and often not available to researchers. Laws on involuntary psychiatric holds for children and teenagers vary by state. Cohen pointed out that of the 25 states in the U.S. that have publicly available data on psychiatric commitments, only five states have released any data on youth. Collecting and sharing more data on psychiatric treatment and hospitalization of minors is recommended to better understand the impact of these detentions and the populations they affect most.

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