Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Teens Screened for Mental Health

Bainbridge Island Review

By RHONA SCHWARTZ Staff Writer, Jan 11 2006

"School, health district officials hope to steer youths away from self-destructive behavior.

"For three years, Leigh Manheim has canvassed tirelessly for a way to identify high school teens who harbor suicidal thoughts. Today – as Bainbridge High School becomes the first school in Kitsap County to offer TeenScreen, a program designed to help prevent suicides and identify other mental health concerns in teens – she is happy the community has achieved that goal.

"'Leigh’s insistence and the support of the school board, the high school, Kitsap health district and Kitsap Mental Health made this possible,' said Clayton Mork, assistant superintendent of Instructional Support Services for the Bainbridge Island School District. 'I am so pleased that this is taking place. A lot of good things have come from it.'

"Developed at Columbia University, TeenScreen is a voluntary survey that indicates 'the likelihood that a teen is at risk for suicide or may be suffering from another mental disorder, such as general anxiety, manic depression, eating disorders or obsessive compulsive behavior,' said Kelly Chatwood, whose position as the Kitsap County Health District’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator was established by Dr. Scott Lindquist, Kitsap Health District director."