A New Questionnaire Has Proved Promising In Helping To Identify And Then Treat Kids Or Teens At Risk Of Suicide

Rido - - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

Did you know that every single day, there are approximately twelve youth suicides in the US?

According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of ten and fourteen. It is also the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four.

These tragic statistics point to a national mental health epidemic among adolescents that, until confronted, leads to a young person losing their life every two hours and eleven minutes.

But, a new study conducted by researchers at Penn State University has underscored the potential of a promising new patient health questionnaire, known as PHQ-9, for the screening of suicide risk and major depressive disorder in adolescents.

The team used data collected from the Screening in High Schools to Identify, Evaluate, and Lower Depression (SHIELD) clinical trial to explore whether or not PHQ-9 would increase suicide risk identification and treatment among high school students.

Essentially, they were looking to ascertain what percentage of students were identified as being at risk for suicide and referred to a Student Assistance Program (SAP).

Over twelve thousand and nine hundred students participated. And of that group, about half were randomly assigned to targeted screening; meanwhile, the other half were randomized to universal screening.

And following the screenings, the researchers discovered that about 5.6% of the students met suicide risk criteria.

Additionally, the students who underwent the universal screening were about seven times more likely to be identified as a suicide risk, nearly eight times more likely to need follow-up assistance, and four times more likely to start treatment than students in the targeted screening group.

Rido – – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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