Pediatricians recommend suicide risk screening for all teens


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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening all adolescents 12 and older for depression and suicide risk, according to an updated preventive care schedule published online this week.

Screening for suicide risk has been added to existing depression screening recommendations, according to the 2018 AAP Guidelines for Depression in Adolescents in Primary Care.

In 2018 guidelines, the AAP recommends annual depression screening for anyone between the ages of 12 and 21, citing reports that about 50 percent of depressed teens are diagnosed before adulthood, while as many as two-thirds of adolescents with depression do not receive any screening. help or care.

The AAP Health Screening, recommended by the AAP, urges healthcare providers to assess risk through a series of questions.

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Depressed little boy in mask sitting by the window.
(in stock)

“There are usually nine different questions that ask about depressive symptoms, and usually at the end of the series, children are asked about suicidal thoughts or self-harm thoughts, thoughts about whether they may be dead or alive, they may be Nathan Copeland, Ph.D., a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Duke Health, reported on Channel 17.

Then, if the doctor finds a problem, they are invited to discuss mental health resources.

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“It’s something that kids have been grappling with for a long time, and if we as a community can get out of this and be more supportive of each other, if we can get out of this and be more able to engage kids and support them, I think there’s a lot out there. Hope,” Copeland said.

Image of a depressed young man with his head down.

Image of a depressed young man with his head down.
(Tetra images via Getty Images)

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Since the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety disorders in teens and children have continued to soar. According to a survey released April 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 44 percent of teens felt hopeless or persistently sad in the first few months of 2021, and 55 percent said they had experienced emotional abuse at home.

Surgeon Vivek Murthy speaks during a news conference at the White House on July 15, 2021.

Surgeon Vivek Murthy speaks during a news conference at the White House on July 15, 2021.
(Reuters/Tom Brenner)

“Mental health problems in children, adolescents and young adults are real and pervasive. Even before the pandemic, a surprising number of young people were struggling with feelings of helplessness, depression and suicidal thoughts – and over the past ten years Midyear, the rate has been rising,” Vivek Murthy, a US surgeon, said in December. a point of view.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has further altered their experiences at home, school and community, and the impact on their mental health has been devastating. The future well-being of our nation depends on how we support and invest in the next generation,” he added Say.

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