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NJ: Law would require all students gr 7-12 screened for depression; 20% affected

Oct 7, 2018, NJ.com: N.J. schools may soon screen teens for depression -- A guide for parents https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/10/nj_schools_may_soon_screen_teens_for_depression_a.html If the bill going through state legislature becomes law, New Jersey schools would be required to screen all students in grades 7 through 12 for depression. The students would answer a two-question survey as part of other regular health screenings, and if their results appear to indicate signs of depression, their parents will be notified, according to Dr. Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), a primary sponsor of the Assembly bill. … If the bill becomes a law, boards of education will send data about the depression screening to the State Department of Education and Department of Health, but the data will not include any identifying or confidential information about individual students…. A new @CDCgov study finds that more than 1 in 20, or 2.6 million, U.S. children aged 6-17 have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. … Why now? The bill comes in the wake of new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommended teens ages 12 and older be screened annually for depression. Mental illness has been on the rise nationally in the past years, with it causing more deaths in kids aged 10-14 years old than car accidents in 2013, according to the Center for Disease Control. Extreme depression can lead to thoughts of suicide. For youth ages 10-24, suicide is the leading form of death, a CDC report said…. Is there an underlying problem? Some professionals argue the screening is a good idea, but fails to address the underlying problem. Tom Kersting, a licensed psychotherapist, argued the number of teens who had suicidal thoughts drastically increased between 2008 and 2015 because teens increasingly spent time on smartphones and social media…