Depression can be a harmful and dangerous illness to deal with – especially for kids and teens. Between 2007 and 2015, the suicide rate in teen girls doubled, reaching its highest point in more than 40 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. This is part of the reason the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines to recommend that kids be screened annually for depression beginning at age 12.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made changes to its guidelines for children’s checkups. One new addition is screening for depression in adolescents ages 11-21. While this might seem young to be screened for such a serious illness, it makes sense when you consider that a large number of teen deaths occur as a result of suicide, and frank talks about depression might have prevented some of these tragedies.