Free mental health screenings offered to area teenagers Wednesday

Monday , October 09, 2017 - 4:33 PM

The Davis School District logo.

ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

Free mental health screenings are being offered to youth ages 12-18 in Northern Utah.

As of Monday, Oct. 9, there were about 30 open seats for the screenings, which will be offered through Davis Behavioral Health and the Davis School District on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

“What we’ve found is anxiety and depression are prevalent in young people and accessing services has been difficult, so this is trying to help them first identify if there are any issues and then link them with services,” Davis County Health Community Outreach Planner Isa Perry said. 

Perry said youths will complete an online questionnaire before coming to the screening Wednesday evening at Syracuse High School. The query will include a wide variety of questions touching on topics including depression, anxiety or even bipolar disorder.

Volunteer clinicians will use the results of that questionnaire during the 30-minute screening, talking with that student and their parent about the findings and any necessary follow up.

Service providers will also be on site to schedule followup appointments

“They won’t have to go home and search for the right fit,” Perry said. “Hopefully they find what they need right there.”

In 2015, suicide was the top cause of death for youth ages 10 to 17 in Utah and the second leading cause of death for adults ages 18 to 44.

According to Standard-Examiner archives and citing 2016 data from the Utah Department of Human Services, 11,363 Davis County children up to age 17 were in need of mental health treatment while only 2,154 received treatment.

Perry said the school district has offered free mental health screenings to students before on a much smaller scale. That endeavor grew into this partnership in an effort to serve an even larger group of young people.

Parents are required to pre-register their children online for the screenings at dbhprevention.org/screening and accompany their child to the screening.

Contact education reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.