Mental Health: School-site mental health screening for teens

Adolescence is a period of tremendous physical and psychological change. Books aimed at teens often characterize those years as being about hair growing in unexpected places and emotions.  The teen years can be difficult for those without the guidance and involvement of parents or a strong parental presence.  The result can be defiant, impulsive, aggressive and/or self-destructive behavior.  Results recently released from a study in Wisconsin bring  good news.

Routine high school mental-health screenings can successfully identify high-risk students and help them receive needed care, according to a new study. Screenings conducted over the course of five years at six suburban public high schools in Wisconsin revealed that roughly 75 percent of the students considered at high risk for mental health issues were not being treated. The researchers, from the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University, said  their findings should lead to more teens getting help for untreated  mental illnesses, which can lead to school failure, drug or alcohol abuse, violence or suicide.

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