(CTN News) _ According to the US Preventive Services Task force, all adults should be checked for depression.
The change follows widespread warnings about the mental health toll of Covid-19.
Suicide screening was not recommended.
According to the panel, suicide is a leading cause of death among American adults, but screening people without symptoms won’t help prevent it.
Children and adolescents aged eight to 18 were recommended anxiety screening in April.
Draft guidance is intended for young and middle-aged adults, including pregnant and postpartum women.
In the future, mental health screenings will be included in routine visits with primary care physicians, said UMass Chan Medical School professor Lori Pbert.
You get screened for many, US many preventive conditions at your primary care provider.
It’s important to treat mental health conditions with the same urgency as physical health conditions.”
A provision in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) requires insurance companies to cover services recommended by the task force.
Anxiety US screening improved identification and treatment, according to Tuesday’s report.
Recommendations are only for those without a diagnosed mental illness.
Depression, anxiety, and suicide risk should be treated, Dr Pbert said.
Anxiety disorders affect some 40 million Americans every year, including panic disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder.
The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds’ executive director, Eugene Beresin, calls it more common than strep throat.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, mental illness rates soared.
The pandemic resulted in an increase of 53.2 million major depressive disorders and 76.2 million anxiety disorders, according to a study published in the Lancet last year.
The screening recommendation has been praised, but some – like Dr Beresin – have warned that screening alone will not suffice.
The problem, he said, is that there aren’t enough psychiatrists and psychologists to treat the country’s 258 million adults.
“So what do we do?” he said.
She shares his concern.
An overburdened system can be made aware through wide-spread screenings, she said.
We have an undersized mental health workforce, she said. “We’ll have to expand it.”