School District May Screen Students For Depression, Anxiety In ClassroomMinnesota’s largest school district is discussing screening high school students for depression and anxiety in the classroom. As part of a state grant to improve mental health services, Anoka-Hennepin schools could offer a screening as soon as next fall. Dr. Nita Kumar, a mental health consultant for the district, said Friday that the idea is to get students to talk about something they may hide from their parents or not even understand what is happening. Some students and adults in the area shared their thoughts. “I think it is a good idea just to be able to see warning signs early and see if maybe there is something this person needs to let out,” Stephanie Scheffler said. Kumar said adolescents often have a harder time identifying when they are actually experiencing signs of depression. “Mental health impacts overall health and school performance,” Kumar said. The school district is considering spending a $370,000 state grant on testing for depression in the classroom. The form is the same one many doctors’ offices provide, the PHQ9 form. Kumar said with parents’ permission, the patient health questionnaire would be given to 10th graders in health class. More