Feb 012015
 
 February 1, 2015  U.S., Youth & Schools

Nina Moini reports:

 Minnesota’s largest school district is discussing screening high school students for depression and anxiety in the classroom.

As part of a state grant to improve mental health services, Anoka-Hennepin schools could offer a screening as soon as next fall.

[…]

The form is the same one many doctors’ offices provide, the PHQ9 form.

Kumar said with parents’ permission, the patient health questionnaire would be given to 10th graders in health class.

Read more on CBS.

I wonder if they’re already doing lesson plans/awareness training on depression. The NIMH reports that when teens are given workshops on depression, some will then self-refer for help and others may speak to the school to express concerns about a classmate who may be showing the signs and symptoms.

I’m not sure why the district would screen 10th graders, though, and not start earlier with screening and awareness training for staff and students.

Since anxiety disorders impact about 20% of the population at some point or another, I’m not sure how valuable anxiety screening will be unless the school districts have sufficient resources to offer anxiety-reducing programs (there are several that have been empirically validated and could be useful in a school setting if the school has adequately trained personnel).

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