Teen Screen Program

By: Paige Pearson
By: Paige Pearson

Columbia University offers the "Teen Screen" program in an effort to check-up on every teenager in America.

New Richmond High School with the help of a grant from the Milwaukee Health Association rolled out the survey recently to more than one hundred freshmen.

"I really felt confident about what the school district was presenting not only to the students but to the parents as well," says parent Jessica Ferguson.

Typically, parents are the first to say they want to know what's going on with their kids, but what do the students think about the mental health survey?

"I thought it was a really good idea for school to get involved with it, because I think that with the questions were asked they could see who people might be struggling with issues outside of school or even inside of school," says ninth grader, Meghan Ferguson.

School counselor, Paul Boettcher, says the school processes the results and then debriefs the student with an option to speak with a mental health professional.

"I think if people get a red flag and they see that they need help they will choose to talk with someone," says Meghan Ferguson.

Boettcher says the staff at New Richmond says they don't expect their students to drop their emotional baggage at the door.

"We need to be able to look at then as an entire person and they spend so much time in school and they develop very strong relationships and bonds here in teachers and other students and staff members that if we can do everything that we can do to support them as an entire student and human-being they're going to be better off academically," says Boettcher.

Ferguson says the teen screen program is a credit to how the school operates; the student's well-being comes first, even before academics.


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