School-based screening to identify at-risk students not already known to school professionals: The Columbia suicide screen

Michelle A. Scott, Holly C. Wilcox, Irvin Sam Schonfeld, Mark Davies, Roger C. Hicks, J. Blake Turner, David Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. We sought to determine the degree of overlap between students identified through school-based suicide screening and those thought to be at risk by school administrative and clinical professionals. Methods. Students from 7 high schools in the New York metropolitan area completed the Columbia Suicide Screen; 489 of the 1729 students screened had positive results. The clinical status of 641 students (73% of those who had screened positive and 23% of those who had screened negative) was assessed with modules from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children. School professionals nominated by their principal and unaware of students' screening and diagnostic status were asked to indicate whether they were concerned about the emotional well-being of each participating student. Results. Approximately 34% of students with significant mental health problems were identified only through screening, 13.0% were identified only by school professionals, 34.9% were identified both through screening and by school professionals, and 18.3% were identified neither through screening nor by school professionals. The corresponding percentages among students without mental health problems were 9.1%, 24.0%, 5.5%, and 61.3%. Conclusions. School-based screening can identify suicidal and emotionally troubled students not recognized by school professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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