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Screening helps African-American students connect with school-based mental health services
Date:6/14/2011

ers an Important Window for Mental Health Intervention

Adolescence is an important window for intervention because 50 percent of all lifetime mental health disorders start by age 14, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And evidence has demonstrated that symptoms of mental illness typically occur two to four years before the onset of a full-blown disorder, making adolescence an ideal period for early intervention to reduce the long-term severity of illness.

Untreated depression or other mental health problems can lead to school failure, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, criminal involvement, and other issues that may delay the life/social experiences (e.g., school achievement, future/career-planning, dating, increased independence, etc.) that define adolescence. And most tragically, untreated mental illness can lead to suicide the third leading cause of death among adolescents.

Research has shown that most young people with mental illness can be effectively treated and lead productive lives.


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Contact: Elizabeth Streich
streich@childpsych.columbia.edu
212-265-3174
TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert

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