Your student’s emotional and physical health are key factors in their school performance and how well they engage in relationships with others. We are fully dedicated to being a part of students’ success in and out of the school setting. This year we are partnering with TeenHope (under the Samaritan Counseling Center) to offer the voluntary TeenHope Emotional-Wellness screening. TeenHope will use the PHQ-9 and GAD screening tools to identify risk factors related to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of self-harm. The screening is at no cost to you, is voluntary and confidential. Based on Pennsylvania law, students 14 years of age and older must sign a consent for TeenHope to discuss recommendations with parents/guardians and school counselors.
Below is the link to TeenHope resources and copies of the tools used during the screening process.
Often, the screening will confirm that your student is experiencing normal teenage transitions. If your student does screen at risk, or requests additional support, TeenHope will assist in identifying resources to share with your student, and with consent from students 14 years of age and older, TeenHope will share the recommendations with the family and school guidance counselor. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity for your student.
The screening will be done for students in grade 9 during their PE 9/Health class. It is done in a manner that assures that only your child and the mental health professional see your child’s response. All screening results are kept confidential and discussions with your student are general mental health conversations, not therapeutic in nature.
These steps are what your teen will experience the day of the screening:
● Students complete a 5-minute questionnaire about symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking and behavior.
● Students who score at risk, or ask for help, meet with a trained mental health professional in private to discuss further recommendations.
● Students who do not score at risk briefly meet with program staff to discuss general mental health concepts and ask related questions. Each student is given the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling.
● We also encourage you to put this in your contacts and use it if you suspect that a teenager you know is suicidal.
● Parents are contacted by program staff only if your teen is recommended for further evaluation. If this is the case, TeenHope staff will share the overall results with you and discuss ways you can get help for your teen. Parents are not contacted if your teen is not found to need additional mental health services.
The school district provides this screening at no cost to families but does not provide further evaluation or treatment services. It is up to you to decide if you want to obtain any additional services for your student. TeenHope provides referral information directly to parents. In addition, Samaritan Counseling Center is available to provide assistance and financial support to parents interested in pursuing mental health services for their student.
We believe this screening opportunity is valuable for all students, so we plan to make this available this year to all students in grade Nine. However, if for any reason you do not wish for your student (under the age of 14) to participate, you may opt out by completing and returning the opt out form within the time frame listed on the form.
Please do not hesitate to call the PM School Counseling office at 717-872-9520 ext. 1822 or Samaritan Counseling Center at 717-560-9969 if you have any questions.