Illinois high school students screened for depression

By Staff Writer

As more reports of suicide make national news, communities across the country are making an effort to discuss depression with adolescents. Some troubled teens may turn to illicit substance abuse to cope with the mental illness, but many choose to take their own lives under the pressure.

Recently, freshmen at Oak Lawn Community High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois, were screened for depression in an effort to identify underlying mental illnesses, according to the Chicago Tribune. Students were asked a series of questions, such as whether they had less energy than before or if they feel held back by their personal appearance.

Students were also asked more in-depth questions during their interviews, such as whether they have seriously considered killing themselves or if they have tried in the past. These can be indicators of severe depression that may require therapy and medication.

The teenage years are a time when individuals are insecure and vulnerable as they attempt to find a sense of self-identity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug rehab programs can help kids who have turned to substance abuse to cope with depression, and antidepressants may be able to quell symptoms of the condition.