National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Mental Illness Screening of Teens

January 4, 2007

There has been a lot of misinformation shared around the country about Mental Health Screening and the TeenScreen program since the release of President Bush’s New Freedom Commission report in 2003 that recognized the Columbia University TeenScreen program as a model program.  Recently the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on Mental Health Screening that discusses the merits of mental health screening. 

The Columbia University TeenScreen Program is a national mental health and suicide risk screening program for youth. The goal of the National TeenScreen Program is to make voluntary mental health check-ups available for all American teens. TeenScreen works by assisting communities throughout the nation with developing locally operated and sustained screening programs for youth. Screening can take place in schools, doctors’ offices, clinics, youth groups, shelters, and other youth-serving organizations and settings.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine is an examination of issues regarding teen mental health and suicide, written by Dr. Friedman.  The article outlines a rationale for screening programs, gives a historical perspective, examines statistics, and offers the personal experiences of actual teens and their parents.

Read the full story from the New England Journal of Medicine. (opens in a new window)

Learn more about the TeenScreen program at Columbia University. (opens in a new window)