Routine Depression Screenings Recommended for Adolescents

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By Sarah Stanley

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force makes all sorts of recommendations that are meant to improve the health and longevity of Americans. These include screenings for cancer, STDs, diabetes, and even risk assessments for problems like drug and alcohol abuse. In January, they published recommendations for adult and senior screening of depression, and just this month they’ve suggested the same for adolescents.

CNN has covered this story, explaining that the Task Force recommended this seven years ago for at-risk individuals on the condition that doctors had methods for effective treatment. That seems like ample time to set up shop, and the Task Force agrees that it’s time to get the ball rolling to screen all adolescents.

The Task Force plans to have health practitioners perform these screenings with questionnaires once a year during routine health examinations. They have not yet determined how beneficial this practice would be for children under twelve, but have determined its necessity for adolescents. When these screenings are finally implemented, adolescents will have numerous resources available to them, including antidepressants.

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