Wellness Screenings Conducted for Freshmen and Juniors


For an hour during first and second periods last week, students were called in mass to the auditorium for an hour long wellness screening. The screenings were for freshmen and juniors only, separated by last name into four groups. The screening consisted of a short video about depression, advocating a system called ACT: Acknowledge, Care, Treat. After the video, students were handed individual forms asking if they were frequently tired, stressed, or depressed, among other questions.

The questionnaire is called the Brief Screening for Adolescent Depression, of BSAD; it has seven questions, and can be found in PDF form here with criteria based on results. The BSAD is part of the Signs of Suicide Prevention Program, or SOS, which aims to identify and treat students with symptoms of depression. The program is produced by the non-profit Screening for Mental Health. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends regular screening for adolescent depression, using the BSAD, visits to a qualified professional for mental health screening, or one of a number of screening forms prevalent in the medical community.

On average, 14.65% of high school age adolescents have had a major depressive episode in the past 12 months. 1 in 12 teens has seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 6 has attempted it; suicide kills eleven percent of all adolescents ages 12 to 19. Depressive Disorders are also tied to dangerous activities like drug usage, alcohol abuse, and self harm. Depressive Disorders include Dysthymia, Major Depressive Disorder, and Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood. All Depressive Disorders commonly develop in adolescence, and their main symptoms are irritability, change in mood, and loss of energy. Since self-diagnosis or shorter tests can easily lead to false-positive diagnoses, however, it’s recommended you talk to your family doctor if you believe you have a depressive disorder or dangerous symptoms.

Compared to other similar tests for adolescent depression, the BSAD is very short, and pretty expensive, too; according to the Screening for Mental Health website, the BSAD form is usually $50 for 100 printed forms. There are more in-depth tests available free online, however, such as the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ) and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Both tests have grading criteria attached. Be aware that tests may still give a false-positive, so be sure to talk to a mental health professional if you have symptoms of Depressive Disorders.

If you have suicidal thoughts or urges, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line are both available below. Stay safe, Wolverines!

Crisis Text Line: Free and Confidential, 24/7.

TEXT “GO” TO 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Available 24/7 for free

Call 1-800-273-8255