Mental Health Screening in Schools

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for School Mental Health Analysis and Action, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 03/2007; 77(2):53-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00167.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article discusses the importance of screening students in schools for emotional/behavioral problems.
Elements relevant to planning and implementing effective mental health screening in schools are considered. Screening in schools is linked to a broader national agenda to improve the mental health of children and adolescents. Strategies for systematic planning for mental health screening in schools are presented.
Mental health screening in schools is a very important, yet sensitive, agenda that is in its very early stages. Careful planning and implementation of mental health screening in schools offers a number of benefits including enhancing outreach and help to youth in need, and mobilizing school and community efforts to promote student mental health while reducing barriers to their learning.
When implemented with appropriate family, school, and community involvement, mental health screening in schools has the potential to be a cornerstone of a transformed mental health system. Screening, as part of a coordinated and comprehensive school mental health program, complements the mission of schools, identifies youth in need, links them to effective services, and contributes to positive educational outcomes valued by families, schools, and communities.

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Available from: Mark D Weist, Sep 25, 2015
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    • "School-based mental health interventions are particularly appropriate given the access to young people in schools (Weist, Rubin, Moore, Adelshiem, & Wrobel, 2007). Not surprisingly, the majority of current services in mental health are delivered via schools (Burns et al., 1995; Weist et al., 2007). Although schools may be an ideal place to offer mental health interventions, less clear is the most effective or relevant approaches to providing broad-based interventions to young people who have experienced a collective trauma such as a natural disaster. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents the Journey of Hope, a school-based group work intervention for children and early adolescents who have experienced a collective trauma such as a natural disaster. This broad-based intervention takes an ecological approach to prevention and treatment and focuses on normalizing emotions and building coping skills after a disaster. Through the use of group work interventions such as use of rituals, group problem solving, and experiential and reflective learning, children and early adolescents work toward enhancing protective factors to help them in their recovery. Considering the short- and long-term emotional strains children may experience after a disaster, such group programs should be more widely accessible in schools.
    Social Work With Groups 09/2014; 37(4):297-313. DOI:10.1080/01609513.2013.873884
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    • "There is a demand for fast and accurate mental health screening in a range of general population settings where time and resource restrictions preclude administration of comprehensive clinical measures . Mental health screening has application to research and to clinical settings, including virtual clinics (Cuijpers et al., 2009; Donker et al., 2009), primary care (Spitzer et al., 1999) and schools (Husky et al., 2011; Weist et al., 2007). Although there are accurate and brief self-report scales available for assessing many specific mental disorders, there is little knowledge about the most efficient methods of screening for multiple disorders (Donker et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is a need for brief, accurate screening when assessing multiple mental disorders. Two-stage hierarchical screening, consisting of brief pre-screening followed by a battery of disorder-specific scales for those who meet diagnostic criteria, may increase the efficiency of screening without sacrificing precision. This study tested whether more efficient screening could be gained using two-stage hierarchical screening than by administering multiple separate tests. Two Australian adult samples (N=1990) with high rates of psychopathology were recruited using Facebook advertising to examine four methods of hierarchical screening for four mental disorders: major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social phobia. Using K6 scores to determine whether full screening was required did not increase screening efficiency. However, pre-screening based on two decision tree approaches or item gating led to considerable reductions in the mean number of items presented per disorder screened, with estimated item reductions of up to 54%. The sensitivity of these hierarchical methods approached 100% relative to the full screening battery. Further testing of the hierarchical screening approach based on clinical criteria and in other samples is warranted. The results demonstrate that a two-phase hierarchical approach to screening multiple mental disorders leads to considerable increases efficiency gains without reducing accuracy. Screening programs should take advantage of prescreeners based on gating items or decision trees to reduce the burden on respondents.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 06/2013; 151(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2013.05.085 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    • "Another important policy issue is the extent to which Positive Behavior Support in Alternative Settings DRAFT NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION – Contact Jeff Sprague ( 20 screening procedures are used to identify and label these students (Weist, Rubin, Moore, Adelsheim & Wrobel, 2007). In schools where PBS is implemented, mental health services can be delivered in such a way as to minimize concerns regarding the stigma of a mental health label. "
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    ABSTRACT: Schoolwide positive behavior support (PBS) is implemented in more than 6,000 public schools, preschools, alternative education (AE), and juvenile justice programs across the United States (Danielson, Cobb, Sanchez, & Horner, 2007). Among the beneficial outcomes reported by these schools are dramatic reductions in office discipline referral rates, increased instructional time for students formerly removed for disciplinary reasons, and improved academic performance (including gains in academic year achievement test scores). As documented elsewhere in this volume, the success of PBS has led to the mobilization of efforts to bring this multiple-systems approach to scale at the school district and state education agency levels. The positive outcomes associated with PBS in public schools means that scores of students who otherwise would be at risk of social and academic failure are achieving greater success. Even so, many thousands of children and youth who are seriously at risk receive educational and other services every day in alternative settings. The implementation figures reported include 286 AE and juvenile justice programs, which is only a small fraction of the school- and non-school-based programs that serve this population. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the application of PBS in these settings, which include AE schools and programs, day treatment and residential mental health programs, and juvenile detention and correctional facilities.
    12/2008: pages 465-496;
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