The Anoka-Hennepin school district in Minnesota may start screening high schoolers for depression and anxiety next fall.
The school district would fund the class screenings with a $370,000 state grant.
“Mental health impacts overall health and school performance,” Dr. Nita Kumar, a mental health consultant for the school district, told CBS Minnesota (video below).
If the policy is enacted, 10th grade students would take the PHQ9 psychological test.
“Developmentally, at that age kids are starting to take some more responsibility for their own health,” added Dr. Kumar. “We are able to make sure that they get adequate care as early as possible."
Seven Anoka-Hennepin students committed suicide between September 2009 and May 2011.
The mental health screenings would require parental permission, but the results would not be given to the students immediately. Instead, health professionals would contact the students and parents later, noted the Star Tribune.