Mental health screening in schools

J Sch Health. 2007 Feb;77(2):53-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00167.x.


Background: This article discusses the importance of screening students in schools for emotional/behavioral problems.

Methods: Elements relevant to planning and implementing effective mental health screening in schools are considered. Screening in schools is linked to a broader national agenda to improve the mental health of children and adolescents. Strategies for systematic planning for mental health screening in schools are presented.

Results: Mental health screening in schools is a very important, yet sensitive, agenda that is in its very early stages. Careful planning and implementation of mental health screening in schools offers a number of benefits including enhancing outreach and help to youth in need, and mobilizing school and community efforts to promote student mental health while reducing barriers to their learning.

Conclusions: When implemented with appropriate family, school, and community involvement, mental health screening in schools has the potential to be a cornerstone of a transformed mental health system. Screening, as part of a coordinated and comprehensive school mental health program, complements the mission of schools, identifies youth in need, links them to effective services, and contributes to positive educational outcomes valued by families, schools, and communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Counseling
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services*
  • United States