Should Teens be Screened for Depression?
Depression is a problem facing lots of families with an estimated 2 million teens in the United States suffering from depression, but less than half receive treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
For that reason, some believe programs like TeenScreen could be helpful.
Wracked with inexplicable feelings she was too young to know weren't normal, a then 14-year-old Courtney Jones struggled to understand what was happening to her as an eighth-grader four years ago.
Prevention task force recommends depression screening for all teens.
"I consciously knew that I was unhappy, but I didn't think that it was depression. I clearly wasn't happy like I used to be, I wasn't going out with my friends as often. I wasn't doing things that used to be fun for me," Jones, now 18, said. "[I] would just sit in my room and not do anything."
So when her school offered a free mental health screening, Courtney's parents told her to fill out the questionnaire. The result: Her answers raised serious red flags and a therapist later diagnosed the girl with depression.
The recent high school graduate, who said she had attempted suicide several times, credits the screening for saving her.
"[I] feel that TeenScreen saved my life," said Courtney, who resides in Portland, Ore. "I had to fully feel all of the emotions that were within me, hit rock bottom and then climb back up. I had a great support system that TeenScreen helped to build."