First lady supports mental health assessment that helps teens connect with valuable resources


In an effort to identify early signs of mental health risk factors, the Lyon County School District has partnered with the Children’s Cabinet, Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey, and the state of Nevada’s Office of Suicide Prevention to offer their students TeenScreen, a confidential mental health screening program.

State and community partners joined forces in this effort to address the challenges of access to services and promote mental health. TeenScreen is funded by the Office of Suicide Prevention and is provided to the students at no cost.

“As first lady and in my work at the Children’s Cabinet, I have dedicated my energies to raising awareness of mental and behavioral health issues and helping Nevadans find assistance,” Kathleen Sandoval said. “I am pleased to support the Lyon County School District in utilizing TeenScreen as a tool to identify youth who may need behavioral health services and encourage all teenagers to utilize these resources.”

The National Center for Mental Health Check-ups at Columbia University developed the TeenScreen program to identify risk factors associated with depression, anxiety, suicide ideation and substance abuse. Research has shown that it is effective in identifying youth with possible emotional problems, providing a critical opportunity to offer early intervention support. Students who participate in the TeenScreen program develop resiliency and better coping skills to succeed and stay in school.

TeenScreen is completely voluntary and confidential. Parents must give permission for their teen to participate in the program, and teens must be willing to participate. The assessment can help parents better understand the changes in their child to know if they are experiencing typical “growing pains,” or help pinpoint a problem in its early stages. The findings are kept confidential and are not shared with the student’s teachers.

The assessments will be conducted throughout Lyon County Schools from March 13 to May 9. For more information about the TeenScreen program, or to find out if the program can be launched in your school district, please call the Office of Suicide Prevention at (775) 443-7843.

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