Journal Courier

Beginning next school year, Illinois students in seventh through 12th grades will undergo a mental health evaluation.

Annual mental health screenings will be required of the students under the state Wellness Checks in Schools Programs Act, which establishes a collective to help schools identify students at risk of mental health conditions.

The law comes at a time of worsening mental health issues for adolescents, with many calling it a crisis. The National Institute of Mental Health found that nearly half of all teenagers ages 13 to 18 have some kind of mental health disorder, while the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 42.3% of high schoolers in 2021 felt sad or hopeless enough to withdraw from their typical activities.

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