What measurement means for mental health screening

Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition among young people. But many young people are never treated - or not until they're in crisis. Untreated depression and other mental health conditions in adolescents and teens are tied to an increase in social isolation, academic failure, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, tobacco use and suicide. 

However, with proper diagnosis, teens (as well as their families) can get access to support and services to help manage their condition. Routine screening for adolescents and teens at preventive check ups is the most effective way to identify signs of mental health conditions early.  

The Mental Health Screening: Teens measure reports how many patients age 12 through 17 were screened for social, emotional and behavioral disorders by their primary care provider.

The statewide rate for all reporting clinics is 40%. This means in Minnesota and some neighboring areas, 40 of 100 patients ages 12 through 17 were screened for mental health conditions during their well child preventive care visits.

High screening rates can be a sign of strong clinic performance in pediatric and mental health care. It’s important to know that small differences in percentages don’t necessarily reflect the quality of care you’ll receive with a certain medical group or clinic. It is more important to note the large differences between providers, and speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

How we calculate the measure

We measure how many patients ages 12 through 17 were asked to complete a brief questionnaire that indicates whether a mental health condition may exist during one of their preventive care visits at each medical group or clinic. This report is based on information about patients who visited their health care provider between January 1 and December 31, 2014. This information is collected under the measure name Pediatric Preventive Care: Adolescent Mental Health and/or Depression Screening.

related measures

This is one of two measures focused on preventive care for children and teens. The other is:

Overweight Counseling: Children  

MNHealthScores also reports on recommended care for adults with depression:

Depression: Assessing Symptoms  

Depression: Feel Better (12 Months)  

Depression: Improved Symptoms (6 Months)  

Depression: Improved Symptoms (12 Months)  

Depression: Follow Up (6 Months)  

Depression: Follow Up (12 Months)