Disparities in follow-up care for Asian American youth assessed for suicide risk in schools.

Asian American (AA) students in academically high-performing schools are thought to represent a high-risk but underidentified group for mental health need and potential suicide risk. Previous data indicate that internalizing mental health needs among AA students are more likely to go unmet compared with other racial/ethnic groups. This is the first study to examine disparities in rates of follow-up mental health services (MHS) for AA students assessed for suicide risk in schools. We examined rates of parental consent for MHS and ultimate linkage to care following risk assessments for students in an ethnically diverse, high-performing school district. Findings indicated that AA students were underrepresented among suicide risk assessments compared with their district enrollment. Although female students were more often referred for suicide risk assessments, AA boys appeared at heightened risk compared with boys from other racial/ethnic groups at the elementary and middle school levels. In terms of rates of MHS receipt, 43.4% of AA students and 57.1% of Latino students received new or ongoing MHS following risk assessment. Multinomial logistic regressions revealed racial/ethnic disparities in parental consent and linkage to care, such that AA students were at significantly higher risk of having parents decline MHS (relative risk ratio = .26, p < .001) and having no initiation of MHS following risk assessment (relative risk ratio = .55, p < .01) compared with Latino students. Potential barriers to parental consent and aftercare for AA families are discussed, highlighting the need for implementation strategies to reduce racial/ethnic disparities for youth at risk of suicide. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)