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Technology helping detect mental health issues in teens

Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 19:21:18-04

TULSA -- Mental Health Association Oklahoma is using technology to help detect early signs of mental health concerns among teenagers.

"It’s really tougher to be a teenager now than it was 10 or 20 years ago," said Julie Summers, Director of Outreach and Prevention.

In an effort to spot mental health issues in teenagers, Mental Health Association Oklahoma uses TeenScreen which is a 15 minute online questionnaire followed by a consultation with a mental health professional.

"Since I was little I’ve always had to deal with anxiety because like I said early I’m so worried about making sure I have perfect grades and that I excel in all these categories," said Sophie Pazzo, Cascia Hall student.

Cascia Hall senior Sophie Pazzo took the TeenScreen last year and was nervous at first, but thankful she didn't keep feelings locked up.

"It didn’t just give me results at the end of the test, it was more of a conversation so that helped me understand how to address my mental health going into the future," said Pazzo.

Representatives with Mental Health Association Oklahoma travel to local schools and spend a few weeks at each one talking to students about TeenScreen.

"With parents permission we pull a young person out of class and sit down with the computer with them and they go through the screening process and then the interview afterwards to let them know how things were," said Summers.

Parents can also sign up online to set up an appointment to get their teen screened.

"Teens will be very honest with a computer mediating the conversation," Summers.

Representatives with Mental Health Association Oklahoma will be in Tulsa area schools this year to promote the TeenScreen program.

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