According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression has a national prevalence of 11.8 percent. At NYU Winthrop Hospital, we’re striving to help the young population that may struggle with depression, including at the NYU Winthrop Hospital Pediatric Center in Hempstead, a highly accredited community-based practice located four miles from the hospital. The center provides general pediatric services to an underserved population that is approximately 78 percent Hispanic or Latino, many of them immigrants who experienced trauma in their home countries.
To better identify underlying depression within this population, NYU Winthrop Hospital Pediatric Center initiated a validated, standardized depression screening program for patients ages 11 years and older using a nine-question patient health questionnaire. The screening, which includes open-ended questions, assists providers in diagnosing depression, and suicidal ideation.
Prior to initiating this program, 10 percent of adolescent patients were screened, and NYU Winthrop doctors documented a rate of diagnosed depression at 3 percent. Now in its second year, 97 percent of adolescents are screened, and doctors at NYU Winthrop Hospital Pediatric Center has been able to identify and address depression in 14 percent of patients. This number illustrates a significant improvement in our detection of adolescent depression among this high-risk population. The center now has licensed social workers in place at the center, along with a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, to help treat children who screen positive for depression.
NYU Winthrop Hospital Pediatric Center also provides expertise in treating young children with anxiety disorders, traumatic stress, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As tweens and teens navigate the challenges of growing up, NYU Winthrop’s pediatric mental health professionals are here for you, and your family.