DURHAM, N.C. — Mental health conditions, including anxiety, continue to rise in all age groups, especially during the pandemic.
A question that has surfaced is whether children should be screened for anxiety.
What You Need To Know
- An influential group of experts recommends kids as young as 8 be screened for anxiety
- May is Mental Health Awareness Month
- Mental health conditions, including anxiety, continue to rise in all age groups, especially during the pandemic
- According to the CDC, more than 9% of kids between age 3 to 17 years old were diagnosed with anxiety between 2016 and 2019
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to the CDC, more than 9% of kids between age 3 to 17 years old were diagnosed with anxiety between 2016 and 2019.
Now, an influential group of experts recommends kids as young as 8 years old be screened.
Dr. Robin Gurwitch, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with Duke, recommends children get screenings.
“Since COVID, all of us have realized the stress related to COVID, but for children, we’ve seen an increase in mental health challenges with an estimated 37% of our young people having some mental health challenges, and anxiety is one of the most common," Gurwitch said.
Gurwitch says there are many different types of screenings that are conducted. Most screenings take place in a pediatrician's office or family care doctor.
“They are usually some type of self report or parent report. Paper and pencil measures and a screening is not a diagnosis. A screening tells us is there a risk, is there something we should be concerned about and if there is, then a referral can be made to someone who can better access the presence of anxiety or other mental health challenges for kids,” Gurwitch explained.
Gurwitch says the reason experts considered putting in this recommendation for screening is because of the significant increase in anxiety with COVID.