Children’s Health Screenings in Schools: Benefits + What to Expect

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School campuses should be more than just centers of education. With the right tools (and partners), they have the chance to be an integral part of children’s healthcare – especially when it comes to screening for physical and mental health conditions. 

As parents, we want to know our children are safe and healthy. The easiest way to ensure that’s the case is to get ahead of concerns through regular assessments and checkups. 

Healthy Campus has launched an initiative to help more school districts provide on-campus healthcare solutions to students and their families. Most recently, the company introduced a Universal Mental Health Screening program that facilitates educational institutions to spot the signs of mental health problems before they worsen. 

Children’s health screenings aren’t just beneficial – they’re critical, especially in today’s society. Here’s what you need to know about universal on-campus screening, plus what to expect when your child has an in-school screening. 

Healthy Campus Universal Mental Health Screeners

This fall, Healthy Campus launched its Mental Health Universal Screening program. This program, conducted in partnership with California school districts, is designed to identify anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in students that often go undiagnosed. 

This new screening program also builds on existing mental health screenings for students. Over the last year, we’ve been enabling better mental healthcare on school campuses, and through this program, we plan to take things to new heights. 

Our screening services don’t stop at mental health conditions, though. We are also planning on expanding services in preventative vision and hearing screeners within the community school districts.

What to Expect

At participating campuses, students, families, and staff will be notified of in-school mental health screenings ahead of time. School administrators will ask parents and guardians to complete an active or passive consent, depending on the age of the student. The screenings will take place on a predetermined day and time during school hours.

When the screenings are administered, students will answer questions on a computer or other digital device. If they are under the age of 12, parents/guardians will need to actively consent to this process.

These questions screen for possible health issues, including mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. School staff will assist students through the process. 

Districts will receive the results digitally after the screening is complete. Parents and guardians may also receive recommendations for follow-up care or further interventions, and may be able to work with Healthy Campus to coordinate appropriate care and accommodations for their student if necessary. 

It’s important to remember that not all mental health struggles are readily visible in students. 

Although these screenings are a critical part of identifying at-risk children, many students suffer in silence. That’s why all educators should be trained to watch for warning signs such as symptoms of self harm or other concerning behavior.

Why Are Children’s Health Screenings Important?

Children’s health screenings in schools are an essential resource for students and their families – arguably now more than ever before.

Professional on-campus screenings help families catch their children’s mental health issues as early as possible, increasing their chances of finding successful treatment. Because these screenings are conducted through school, staff members can also implement appropriate accommodations to help students thrive in the classroom. 

Screening for mental health issues is particularly important. Conditions like anxiety and depression make it difficult for students to succeed at school, but they often fly under the radar, especially in overcrowded classrooms. 

Unfortunately, mental health concerns among children and adolescents are increasingly common, and the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular screenings for youth. As of 2023, 11.5% of youth in the United States are experiencing severe depression – and the only way we can get ahead of this statistic is to know what we’re looking for. 

Screenings flag relevant mental health symptoms so students can get the care they need, before their symptoms and experiences become more severe. 

These on-campus screenings are covered financially by the districts or through grants, which will level the playing field for students of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. They’re provided regardless of whether or not students have insurance or who their primary care doctor is. 

Benefits of Healthy Campus’s Universal Screeners

Healthy Campus’s screening programs offer a variety of benefits for both schools and their students. Here’s why schools should consider implementing these screeners. 

✓ Fast and Efficient

Healthy Campus’s Universal Screening program is designed to fit smoothly into a normal school day. We leverage technology that allows the tests to be conducted quickly and easily. There’s no need for extensive staff training or time away from important lessons. 

✓ Cost-Effective

These screeners are available to all qualifying students at no cost, making them a cost-effective care tool for families. At the same time, they’re also very cost-effective for school districts. There are a variety of funding options available for school-based health clinics, with minimal impact on existing budgets. 

✓ Supports a Preventative Care Model

Preventative care is key to good health outcomes. Not only does it tend to be more cost-effective, but it also can help patients avoid debilitating symptoms in the long run. On-campus screeners support a preventative care model. Screeners can catch mental or physical health issues in students before they become dire. 

✓ Prevents Chronic Absenteeism

When students don’t receive the care and support they need for their mental health issues, they could end up missing class. Even when students are in class, a mental health problem could prevent them from learning and thriving. 

According to a survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, 16% of students who were absent for at least a day in the past year and missed school for reasons other than physical illness said they didn’t attend because of anxiety. Another 12% said they felt too sad or depressed to attend class.

When a screening identifies that a student might have a mental health problem, it gives their teachers and families the opportunity to seek care and develop accommodations. This helps keep kids in school, improving overall attendance and performance rates. 

Schedule Screenings for Your School District

Public schools in California are legally required to meet certain on-campus healthcare requirements. Regular mental and physical healthcare screenings are essential for a happy and healthy student body. 

Healthy Campus streamlines the process and makes it easy for schools to offer children’s health screenings and other high-quality care to students. 

Learn how to register with Healthy Campus today. For further questions, feel free to reach out to our team directly. 

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We believe on-campus healthcare must be accessible, convenient, and affordable.  We work with our school district partners to build integrated, program-driven, on-campus healthcare solutions.

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