Mental Health Screening of African American Adolescents and Facilitated Access to Care
This study retrospectively reviews de-identified records from school-based mental health screening in a predominantly African American community. We compare participation rates, screening results, referrals to services and access to care of white and African American adolescents. Among those offered screening, 20.1% of white students (n = 297), and 28.8% of African American students (n = 499) were screened (χ2 = 32.47, df = 1, P < .001). African American students (45.1%) were significantly more likely than white students (33.0%), (AOR = 1.59; P = .003) to be identified as being at risk. In both racial groups, most youth accessed the school-based services (89.02%, 95% CI 82.25–95.79) and community services (86.57%, 95% CI 78.41–94.73) to which they were referred. The groups did not differ in the odds of accessing community-based services (AOR = .58; P = .49). African American students were, however, more likely than white students to access school-based services (AOR = 10.08; P = .022). The findings support the effectiveness of screening in school settings in predominantly African American communities.