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Tool Information

Settings: Education
MHP Steps: Follow Up | Implementation | Preparation | Needs Analysis
Country of Origin: United States
Languages: English | Spanish
URL: Click here for Tool Website
Publication Information: The TeenScreen Program was developed by Columbia University´s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1991 in response to research revealing that 90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a mental illness at the time of their deaths, and that 63% experience symptoms for at least a year prior to their deaths. TeenScreen is supported by a number of foundations, individuals and organizations.

Evaluation: Yes
Available Formats: Paper Based | Soft Copy
Free: Yes
Restrictions on Use: No
Tool Focus: Individual
Tool Type: Evaluation Tool
Download(s): TeenScreen Program Brochure - 108 KBTeenScreen Program Overview - 14 KB

Tool Description

The Columbia University TeenScreen Program is a national mental health and suicide risk screening program for young people. TeenScreen is committed to making the mental health and well-being of youth a national priority and to ensure that every parent is offered the opportunity to have their teenager receive a voluntary mental health check-up (required both parental consent and youth assent for participation) for early identification of mental health problems. The program uses a questionnaire and interview process to determine if a teenager may be at risk for depression, suicide or other health problems – it is not a diagnosis, and treatment decisions, if any, are always left to parents and guardians.

Tool Characteristics

Application in the Field: General use in one country
Tool mainly used in: United States
Stage of Development: Well established
Evaluation and Research: Studies/Technical Data available
Beneficiary Involvement in Design: Active participation clearly described

Evaluation Description

The TeenScreen Program has been evaluated in a variety of settings with diverse youth populations. It is found to be effective in identifying young people who are at risk for suicide, depression and other mental disorders (Shaffer, D., Scott, M., Wilcox, H., Maslow, C., Hicks, R., Lucas, C., et al. (2004). The Columbia SuicideScreen: Validity and Reliability of a Screen for Youth Suicide and Depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(1), 71-79.; Kaplan, A., Olfson M., Chrostowski, C., McGuire, L., Durland, D., Flynn, L. (2005). Assessing the Effectiveness of the Columbia University Teen Screen Program. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada). Additional findings have shown that screening is safe and does not cause participants to become depressed, suicidal or distressed (Gould, M., Marrocco, F., Kleinman, M., Thomas, J., Mostkoff K., Cote, J., (2005). Evaluating Iatrogenic Risk of Youth Suicide Screening Programs: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 1635-1643).

Contact Details

Contact Name: Laurie Flynn
Organisation Name: The Columbia University
Address: 1775 Broadway, Suite 610
Postal Code: NY 10019
Country: United States
Telephone: (212) 265-4453

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