Behavioral Health Screenings are Important

Early and regular health screenings help people stay healthy at any age. They are very important for children and teens who are growing fast and expected to reach milestones at certain ages.

June 30, 2020  
Health screenings are part of routine preventive care. They help providers reassure you or find problems early when they often are easier to treat. Common health screenings include: height, weight, development, milestones, vision, hearing, dental and others. Providers know when each type of screening should be done.
Many parents are unaware that talking about behavioral health (BH) is also very important. If your child’s provider does not offer a BH screening, ask for one.
What to expect during your child’s BH screening
Providers will use a survey that is right for your child’s age. The survey will come from a list of standard BH screening tools. These tools can help you highlight things that concern you. They also help you share your concerns with your child’s provider. The questionnaire may ask you about your child’s:
  • Sleep
  • Energy
  • Appetite
  • School performance
  • Ability to make friends
  • Mood
  • Behavior
Older children and young adults may be asked to fill out a similar questionnaire about themselves.
Providers may talk with you about your child’s development and reassure you. They also may give you parenting tips that may help your child.
If your child is a teen, the provider may talk with him or her about:
  • Avoiding the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other substances
  • Violence
  • Bullying
  • Depression

If your child needs BH services, his or her provider may offer these services, or the provider may refer your child to a BH specialist in your network.
Your child’s provider in on your side. He or she can help keep your child on track and healthy for life.