Mental Health Screening for Children and Adolescents

Jean Ivey, PhD, ARNP, PNP-PC, FAANP

Disclosures

Pediatr Nurs. 2020;46(1):27-31. 

In This Article

Comorbid Conditions

Mental health disorders are frequently seen in children with other chronic and acute illnesses. Children from impoverished neighborhoods and those who are homeless may have a parent or caretaker who has a mental illness. They may also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety and depression. The immigrant population is particularly at risk given recent national policy changes and displacement to different geographic areas or placement with relatives or in foster care (Caballero et al., 2019). Zenlea and colleagues (2015) reported that children in a weight management program self-reported mental health problems or their parents reported urgent mental health problems. Of the 32 study participants, 18 (7.6%) reported suicidal ideation, 12 (5.1%) had homicidal ideation, and 10 (4.2%) reported self-injurious behavior (Zenlea et al., 2015). Children with other disorders must also be screened and perhaps more frequently than others.

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