Suicide and gun violence: I thought this was a pediatric psychology journal.
By W. Douglas Tynan, PhD
As Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology ( CPPP ) heads into its second year of publication, Jennifer Shroff Pendley and I would first like to thank all of you who have supported this endeavor, the Div. 54 board, our colleagues who served as advisors, associate editors, all of those who have reviewed and especially authors who have submitted papers to us. Our success rests on all of those hundreds of hours of effort by all of you. We have been able to focus on areas of Pediatric Psychology that are not covered in depth by the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, including policy of health care reform, more extensive case illustrations, challenges with applications of evidence based treatments, and new approaches.
Papers have ranged from the creative use of the electronic health records to improve care, to health care policy changes as it impacts our field to case studies in areas ranging from medication adherence to suicide attempts. Early this year CPPP will include a paper on the reduction of gun violence. These last two points on suicide and gun violence indicate a areas where our work in pediatric psychology clearly overlaps with our colleagues in school, community and clinical child and adolescent psychology and in pediatrics, and that overlap is an important place to review our work. As the recent article on an attempted suicide patient who presented at a primary care office the next day shows, we are often called upon to deal with mental health emergencies, particularly those of us in primary care, but it can happen in any clinic.
The adjoining article in that same issue outlined an appropriate training program for pediatric psychologists in assessment of suicidality with a grim reminder that this is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity in adolescents. Gun violence is another area that we have ventured into. A recent task force report by APA on the prevention of gun violence highlighted the role of all health care providers in assessing possible dangers at home and counseling families to help prevent tragedy. Div. 54 has a long history of work in injury prevention, and the paper on gun violence fits in that framework. The journal Pediatrics will be featuring several articles this year on the long term sequellae of gun injuries including costs and required health and mental health treatment of children who survive those injuries or siblings of those who do not survive.
Along with these areas, we have been able to publish papers on electronic health records, the use of web based data collection systems and other newer technologies that will allow clinicians to monitor and use prompts to shape behavior more effectively. As clipboards and charts are replaced by automated collection systems, we will be seeing ways in which the weekly therapy visit may be replaced by more frequent, brief reminders delivered through a variety of technologies to help change health behaviors. Finally, we are seeing new medical and surgical technologies emerge and Psychology becoming involved at the beginning. Thus articles on small bowel transplant, and other surgical procedures will be coming. We are also seeing psychologists much more involved in medical specialties that have not included us in the past. As the field moves forward into new areas, we hoped to capture those initial papers that inspire more systematic research and clinical work that can be subsequently submitted to a range of journals.
Thank you all for your contributions, and keep those manuscripts coming in.