TeenScreen made available for freshmen

By Mary Whitfill
Features Editor

Coppell High School is offering parents of 9th grade students the opportunity to have their teens participate in TeenScreen, a nationally-recognized wellness check-up program.

The program, developed by Columbia University, it is designed to identify risk factors associated with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. The program is free and confidential.

More than 1,500 primary health care providers and nearly 600 schools and community-based sites in 46 states have made TeenScreen available. The goal of the test is to help parents better understand the changes their children are experiencing. While for most the screen will reassure parents that their children are going through normal ‘growing pains,’ for others it will help pinpoint problems that can lead to more significant development issues.

There are three steps to the screening procedure:

Step One: a 10-minute questionnaire about physical health, symptoms of depression, suicidal behavior and the use of drugs and alcohol.

Step Two: Those whose answers reveal a potential problem will meet with a guidance counselor in private. Those whose answers reveal that they probably do not need help will meet briefly with program staff to discuss questions about the screening and topics that the screening may not have covered.

Step Three: Parents of students who met with a counselor will be contacted if the counselor recommends further evaluation.

For those who want to participate, contact the 9th grade counseling department.