Depression Is On The Rise in Teens. Here’s How to Help Your Kids Early On

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The next time you take your teen for a medical exam, don’t be surprised if the doctor checks more than their height and weight.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published new guidelines recommending physicians screen patients ages 10 to 21 for signs of depression.

The Academy suggests patients fill out a depression screening tool for the doctor to review during wellness visits.

The organization also recommends parents share any observations or concerns with the doctor for the most accurate picture of the teen’s mental health and well-being.

If a teen is suspected of being depressed, the group says doctors should help the patient and family create a treatment plan that includes specific goals for school, home and peer settings and also help them access appropriate mental-health professionals.

Teen Depression on the Rise

It’s important to catch depression early to get a jump-start on treatment.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than one in 10 teens shows signs of depression.

Some studies suggest teen depression is on the rise, yet many young people who struggle with mental-health issues aren’t getting the help they need.

If your teen doesn’t have a family doctor or you’d rather explore other avenues for teen mental- health screening, here are nine free or cheap options to explore.  

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.