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Personal information

Leonie  Klaufus

My name is Leonie Klaufus. Since september 2016 I work as a PhD candidate at the Department of Child Health Care of the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam).

As a former mental health care worker, I completed the pre-master Clinical Health Sciences at the University of Utrecht. Because of my working experiences in public (mental) health care abroad (i.e. with children in Guatemala) and my interest in global health, I chose to follow the master International Public Health at the VU University. My master internship I did at the Public Health Service in Amsterdam, in which I researched the accessibility of mental health care services for groups of Dutch inhabitants with different ethnic backgrounds. All of these former experiences and my interests come together in the PhD project I am working on now.

My current PhD research addresses the screening of anxiety, depression and suicide risk among school children and adolescents with different ethnic backgrounds in the Netherlands. In my opinion this theme is of much importance, since anxiety and depression are highly prevalent and the number of suicides among adolescents has risen strongly in the last decades. At the same time anxiety, depression and suicidal behavior are identified insufficiently by parents, teachers or health care workers. Therefore I aim to examine the psychometric properties and norms of two self-report questionnaires for children and adolescents: the short Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS-25) and the Ask Suicide-screening Questions (ASQ), in order to improve their usability at schools. With this research I aim to achieve that children and adolescents with mental health problems receive the care they need.