Dr. Keeshawna Brooks Discusses Mental Health Screenings for Youth
In response to the US Preventive Service Task Force’s recent announcement recommending screenings for anxiety and depression in youth through routine wellness checks, Dr. Keeshawna Brooks, Associate Department Chair for School Psychology at our Chicago Campus, speaks to the benefits of taking proactive steps to addressing children’s mental health.
In a conversation with Fox32 News Chicago, Dr. Brooks describes the manifestation of fear and worry through body symptoms in children, which can include tummy aches, nail biting, changes in communication patterns, sleeping problems, and irritability. Additionally, she notes differences between anxiety and depression, and symptoms parents can look out for.
“A clinician is going to look at the duration of some of these symptoms, the frequency, and the intensity. We all have levels of worry and fear, but what the clinician is looking for is how it impacts various domains in the child’s life including school-based activities and if it’s happening frequently at an intense level and for a long period of time. The screeners are a series of questions that are meant to screen and not diagnose. It’s our first line of defense, a first filter and then a clinician will recommend next steps based on those answers.”
Keeshawna Brooks, Ph.D., NCSP, L.P., is currently a professor and associate department chair in the School Psychology Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. She is also the owner of Keys To Care Psychological Services, LLC. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and a licensed psychologist in Maryland and Illinois.
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