If you are wondering whether or not
you or your child might be experiencing a mental health problem, this is the place to start.
The Quick Screen can be used
as a guideline to determine if you need to complete the more comprehensive assessment forms.
- The first section of the Quick
Screen checklist assesses for symptoms of Depression. The second section evaluates symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder.
Next is Bipolar Disorder, followed by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic and Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
and other mental health conditions. You simply rate your or your child's symptoms on a scale from zero (0) to three (3).
Zero meaning no problem and 3 meaning severe.
For example, occasionally feeling sad might be rated as a 1 (mild). Feeling sad almost every day would be a 3 (severe). Difficulty
sleeping once or twice a month may be a 1 (mild), but difficulty three or four nights a week would be a 3 (severe).
It is best to rate symptoms which have occurred over the last 6 - 12 months or more. This is because mental health symptoms
often will often come and go. What has been a problem in the past can be just as important as what is occurring today.
- Next you are
asked to list three problems that have caused the most difficulty for you or your child over that same time frame. This helps
you focus on the important issues causing difficulties.
It highlights the stressors that may be contributing
to the symptoms you or your child are experiencing.
The last section asks you to rate how you or your child are functioning in various areas of life. For example, if you
are depressed, you may have difficulties thinking clearly, having fun, dealing with emotions, functioning at work or school,
and thinking positively about yourself.
If symptoms are severely affecting daily functioning, that is a sign that professional help might be considered.
Your level of functioning is important in determining
the outcome of treatment. Improving the symptoms associated with a particular condition is only part of the picture. How we
function daily in life is the true test of improvement. We may be less anxious and panicky but if we still cannot go out of
the house, the problem has not been resolved.
If most of the scores on the
Quick Screen are ones and twos for any set of symptoms or for several sets, you might consider filling out the longer forms.
If most of your scores are twos and threes for
one section or more and the level
of functioning in several areas is below a rating of 7,
you might more strongly consider completing the more comprehensive assessments. (Adult or Child/Adolescent forms.)
Whatever you do, you get to decide. You are in
control of the process. The forms are yours to use as you determine.
No one under the age of 18 should fill out the forms without a parent or guardian present. Parents and guardians may ask the adolescent or child to fill out
the appropriate information on the Child or Adolescent Questionnaire.
If you are under the age of 18, and are experiencing mental health
symptoms, you should talk to your parents or guardian. Decisions concerning the appropriate courses of action are a family
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