Alexandria, VA – Mental Health America (MHA) today announced that it has achieved a new milestone in its effort to make mental health screenings available to everyone free of charge. More than 5 million people have now completed an online mental health screening on its web site.
Launched in 2014 as a cornerstone of MHA’s “B4Stage4” program – through which MHA has explained that early detection and intervention are keys to the preservation of mental health and mitigation of mental illness – MHA screening (s2s) has become the most successful and ubiquitous program of its kind.
During the first eighteen days of May 2020, more than 119,000 individual screens were taken, many in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic-related impact on the nation’s mental health.
“We are experiencing unprecedented impacts on mental health as a result of the pandemic,” stated MHA President and CEO Paul Gionfriddo, “and the most effective, efficient tool for responding to this is what it always has been – to make mental health screening available to everyone regardless of age or income.
“What we are doing with our screening program is identifying a help-seeking population earlier than ever before,” he added, “giving us new opportunities to address mental health concerns long before they become Stage 4 crises.”
The topline results from the five million completed MHA screenings to date include:
- Among MHA screeners, the most common screening taken is for depression, but anxiety screenings have increased dramatically in 2020.
- Significant percentages of screeners are positive, but most of these either have never been diagnosed, are not currently in treatment, or are receiving treatment that isn’t working for them.
- MHA screeners are young, which is consistent with the age of onset of most serious mental health conditions.
- MHA screeners are representative of the racial and ethnic diversity of the population. Among special populations students, LGBTQ, caregivers, military, and trauma survivors all screen in large numbers.
- People seeking help for their mental health are also frequently living with other serious chronic health conditions.
- People seeking help are not just looking for referrals to treatment services, they are also looking for information, peer and family support, and tools they can use themselves.
The following details provide more information on each of these topline points. To take a mental health screen, visit www.mhascreening.org. MHA offers customized resources to everyone who takes a mental health screen, based on the screen taken, severity of the result, age of the individual, and other factors.