Staying Informed: How to Find Mental Health Screenings Available to You
Approximately one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year, serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year and mood disorders, including major depression, persistent depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18-44 years of age. The stigma surrounding mental illness is vast, and as a result, the majority of individuals who are battling a mental health disorder do not seek professional help. Depending on the mental health disorder, the combination of medications and psychotherapy are the mainstay treatments for mental health disorders; however before treatment is initiated, a diagnosis must be made, which means an individual must visit a physician or mental health professional. However, there are plenty of mental health screenings tools and resources online that you can use in the privacy of your own home. These tools can not only help give you insight on whether you may be struggling with a mental health disorder, but they can also provide you information on how to receive the help you may need. These mental health-screening tests are validated only for adults.
Mental health screening tools
Mental Health America online screening tests: These online screening tests are the quickest and easiest ways to assess whether you have a mental health disorder. These screening tests range from depression tests and anxiety tests to eating disorder tests, bipolar tests, and psychosis tests.
Help Yourself. Help Others: An online mental health screening powered by MindWise Innovations for individuals as well as military personnel and their family members.
HeretoHelp: Online screening tools for individuals who may be struggling with a mental health disorder that is sponsored by Canadian mental health organizations.
ULifeline: An online resource for college mental health. The Self Evaluator was developed for ULifeline by Duke University School of Medicine and screens for 13 f the most common mental health disorders that affect college students.
PSYCHOM: Three-minute depression screening test that is a great initial start for anyone who may be battling a mood disorder.
The following are talk and chat lines for anyone who is in need of support
Know the Signs: 1-800-273-8255
Mental Health America: Text MHA to 741741
National Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Trevor Project: (LGTBQ) 1-866-488-7386
Youth Crisis Line: 1-800-843-5200
Crisis Text Line: Text “START” to 741-741
Keep in mind that your physician, college campus, or any community or private mental health facility can offer a mental health screening for any of the mental health disorders. Mental health screenings online are a great initial tool, but a licensed professional must make the diagnosis. Therefore a visit to a physician or mental health professional (whether in person or via online) is necessary.
Kristen Fuller, M.D., is a clinical content writer and enjoys writing about evidence-based topics in the cutting-edge world of mental health and addiction medicine. She is a family medicine physician and author, who also teaches and contributes to medicine board education. Her passion lies within educating the public on preventable diseases, including mental health disorders and the stigma associated with them. She is also an outdoor activist and spends most of her free time empowering other women to get outside into the backcountry.