By CBS3 Staff

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) — A Penn State study finds that a school-based mental health screening can help identify depression in students. Researchers at the university’s College of Medicine found students who participated in universal school-based depression screening were twice as likely to start treatment for depression.

Dr. Deepa Sekhar, associate professor of pediatrics, who served as an investigator on the study, said the study provides important insights on how to tackle depression in youth.

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“Our study is publishing at a time when more adolescents are reporting symptoms of depression,” Sekhar said in a release. “From 2008 to 2018, the numbers increased by over 70% from 8.3% to 14.4%. During the pandemic, concerns about increasing student depression have been widespread. Suicides, which are often associated with mental health conditions, are now the second-leading cause of adolescent death.”

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The three-year study included more than 12,00 students in 9th through 12th grade from 14 Pennsylvania public high schools, according to Sekhar.

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More adolescents are reporting symptoms of depression and suicide is the second-leading cause of adolescent death.