84% of the time between first symptoms and first treatment is spent not recognizing the symptoms of mental illness.
16% of the time is spent getting help(1).
The delays in treatment for mental illnesses are longer than for many other health conditions(2-4). The delay in treatment for some mental illnesses are:
- Anxiety Disorders: 9 to 23 years
- Mood Disorders: 6 to 8 years
- Psychosis: 1 to 2 years
Screening can help catch mental health problems early—B4Stage4. Screening is an anonymous, free and private way to learn about your mental health and if you are showing warning signs of a mental illness.
A screening only takes a few minutes, and after you are finished you will be given information about the next steps you should take based on the results. A screening is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with your doctor or a loved one about your mental health.
MHAScreening.org uses proven tools to check for symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- 90 percent of people who started a screen at MHAScreening.org completed a screen and got immediate results.
- 66 percent of people who took a screening scored moderate to severe. Of those, over 60% had never been diagnosed.
Getting screened increases the chances of getting treatment.
When positive screening results were given during a primary care visit, doctors were over 3 times more likely to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and to plan to follow up with the patient.
Treatment following screening has been shown to reduce symptoms of mental illness, and the positive effects of treatment are still seen a year later (5-7).
Early Intervention is Cost Effective
The earlier that mental health problems are caught and treated, the less it costs and the better the results.
Good Behavior Game Prevention Program
$81.04 per student per year(8)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
$1,239.62 per year or course of 12 sessions(9)
Intensive Home-Based Family Therapy for Youth
$7,680.85 per year(10)
$15,317.57 per stay (average length of stay: 62 days)(11-12)
$31,846.46 per year(13)
1Korczak, D. J., & Goldstein, B. I. (2009). Childhood onset major depressive disorder: course of illness and psychiatric comorbidity in a community sample. The Journal of pediatrics, 155(1), 118-123.
2McGorry, P. D., Purcell, R., Goldstone, S., & Amminger, G. P. (2011). Age of onset and timing of treatment for mental and substance use disorders: implications for preventive intervention strategies and models of care. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 24(4), 301-306.
3Wang, P. S., Berglund, P., Olfson, M., Pincus, H. A., Wells, K. B., & Kessler, R. C. (2005). Failure and delay in initial treatment contact after first onset of mental disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of general psychiatry, 62(6), 603-613.
4McGlashan, T. H. (1999). Duration of untreated psychosis in first-episode schizophrenia: marker or determinant of course? Biological psychiatry, 46(7), 899-907.
5Christensen, K. S., Toft, T., Frostholm, L., Ørnbøl, E., Fink, P., & Olesen, F. (2005). Screening for common mental disorders: who will benefit? Results from a randomised clinical trial. Family practice, 22(4), 428-434.
6Pignone, M. P., Gaynes, B. N., Rushton, J. L., Burchell, C. M., Orleans, C. T., Mulrow, C. D., & Lohr, K. N. (2002). Screening for depression in adults: a summary of the evidence for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of internal medicine, 136(10), 765-776.
7O’Connor, E. A., Whitlock, E. P., Beil, T. L., & Gaynes, B. N. (2009). Screening for depression in adult patients in primary care settings: a systematic evidence review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(11), 793-803.
*Cost figures adjusted for 2015 using The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI