Asking teens about their mood or suicidal feelings will cause distress or induce suicidal feelings or behaviour
Read on to find out!
According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, "in one study, teens were randomly assigned to undergo mental health screening with or without questions that probed suicidal feelings and behavior. The participants who were asked these questions were neither more distressed nor more suicidal than those who were not. In fact, among high-risk students with a known history of depression or suicide attempts, those who had been asked about suicidal thoughts and feelings actually felt less depressed and suicidal after the survey than those who had not been asked such questions" (Friedman, 2006).
The article also went on to explain just how important it is that teens be screened for mental health issues and are asked about their mood and thoughts of harming themselves or others, and even included commentary from teens with psychiatric diagnoses to further prove the point.
To access the NEJM article, and another one from the news that discuss identifying risk factors for suicide or mental health issues in teens, and talking to/screening teens for these sorts of health problems, see below:
- "Uncovering an Epidemic - Screening for Mental Illness in Teens" by Richard Friedman (NEJM)
- "Talking to a Teenager About Suicide" by David Petrie (Huffington Post)