Lee County experts, parents recommend screening children ages 8 to 18 for anxiety

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Masked students in a classroom. Credit: WINK News

It has been a stressful two years for our children, and now health experts say you should consider screening kids as young as 8 years old for anxiety.

Jeanne Beaulieu says her daughter tried to commit suicide in her middle school’s bathroom. Needless to say, Beaulieu is all for anxiety screenings in children, because sometimes the signs can manifest as early as kindergarten. Beaulieu says she remembers hearing her daughter’s friends talk about anxiety and having anxiety attacks in third and fourth grade, so hearing that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends children from 8 to 18 should be screened for anxiety is news she’s waited a long time to hear.

Beaulieu says these screenings would be extremely beneficial, but only if primary care physicians also get the educational tools necessary to know how they can effectively help children after they have been screened.

“If I were more honest with myself, back in third grade, when those girls were having that conversation, should have been the first time that she took that test and got that score,” Beaulieu said. “If you’re having those conversations with girlfriends at that age, there’s already a problem.”

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