Tennessee Voices for Children is pleased to offer free and voluntary mental health screenings to youth in Middle Tennessee emphasizing prevention and early intervention. Our Youth Screen program grew out of “TeenScreen,” – developed by Columbia University – and it uses the same, evidence-based screening tool. Our screening tool is a reliable, user-friendly, voluntary, and confidential computer-based screening instrument, that assists screeners in identifying mental health, suicide, and substance abuse risks, that if unaddressed could interfere with the health, well-being, and functioning of youth.
Youth Screen is free to qualifying communities, schools, agencies, and other service providers in Middle Tennessee. Youth Screen’s primary goal is to identify youth with mental health risk – before they fall behind in school, end up in trouble, or attempt to take their own lives – and to offer the families of these youth the opportunity to connect with resources and services in the community as needed. In addition, Youth Screen works to reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues. Tennessee Voices for Children can assist you in implementing Youth Screen in your community.
The program consists of a licensed-eligible Program Manager, a Case Manager, trained bachelors and masters level interns and community volunteers, and TVC’s Chief Quality Officer who serves as the program’s licensed clinical supervisor and consultant.
If you are experiencing a crisis, please call 1 855 CRISIS (855 274 7471) .
The Screening Process
- Parents provide written consent for their child to complete a brief, self-administered mental health screen and to talk with program staff following the screen. The youth must also provide written assent to participate.
- Results are reviewed by a qualified program staff member.
- A face-to-face debriefing interview is held with program staff for all screening participants; a brief clinical interview is held with a mental health professional in the program for all who screen positive.
- The screening and the staff interview that follows are designed to identify symptoms and behaviors that could present mental health risk; it is not a comprehensive evaluation process and does not result in a mental health diagnosis.
- For those youth who may be at risk, parents of identified youth are informed of the screening results and provided with resource options.
- Individual results are strictly confidential and are not made available to teachers, school administrators or others outside of the Youth Screen program without a written parent-authorized release (except as required or permitted by law, for example child abuse reporting, duty to warn, etc.).
- Program case management staff follow up with families to help assure that a positive connection is made to community resources and services, that the youth and family are satisfied with these services, and that the needs have been met.
Among youth screened since 2004:
- The program has offered screenings to over 25,000 youth and over 6,000 have participated in the program across 41 different screening sites within 17 counties in Tennessee;
- About 25% of the youth and their parents who have been offered a screening opportunity chose for the youth to participate in the program;
- Of the total youth screened, 37% were offered with case management services, which included the opportunity for mental health evaluation, referral, or other needed referrals or linkage to services; and
- Youth satisfaction surveys have demonstrated an 83% overall youth satisfaction with the program; 74% of the parents/guardians surveyed have reported feeling “very satisfied” with the program and an additional 18% have reported feeling “somewhat satisfied.”