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How to Help Your Depressed or Suicidal Teen

August 31, 2009

Going back to school makes some kids happy, others sad, but there are much more serious ups and downs in many young people's lives. Pre-teens and teenagers can be subject to serious depression and, if there is no intervention, some may even start thinking of suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for 11 to 18 year olds in California. A screening program is underway in some areas of the country, including a handful of schools in this state, to try to identify kids who are at risk for major depression and suicidal thoughts. The idea is to identify the teens and guide them to follow-up diagnosis and treatment. Joining me to discuss depression in teenagers and the current methods of screening for at-risk kids are my guests. Leslie McGuire is the deputy executive director of the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University.

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