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Crisis. 2011;32(5):254-63. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000087.

Does screening high school students for psychological distress, deliberate self-harm, or suicidal ideation cause distress--and is it acceptable? An Australian-based study.

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1
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, 35 Poplar Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. jr@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Programs designed to detect students at risk of depression and suicidality have shown success (Shaffer et al., 2004).

AIMS:

The current study sought to examine whether or not such a program was acceptable to participants and whether or not it caused distress.

METHODS:

Participants were boys aged 14 to 16. Participants were assessed using an on-line questionnaire; acceptability was measured via postal questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Of 272 participants, 31 (11.4%) were considered at-risk; 13 required ongoing support, 8 of whom had not previously sought help. Overall screening did not appear to cause significant undue distress, although some differences were evident between at-risk and not at-risk students. All participants found the program acceptable.

CONCLUSIONS:

When conducted carefully, early detection programs can be an effective and acceptable method of identifying at-risk adolescents.

PMID:
21940259
DOI:
10.1027/0227-5910/a000087
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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