Free Online Assessment and Screening Tools for Mental Health

Access a variety of assessment tools for mental health and related issues, including mood disorders, relationship attachment styles, suicide risk, communication skills, and domestic violence. This list includes both self-assessments and screening tools for clinicians to administer and score.

Compiled by Cassie Jewell, LPC, LSATP

Updated July 23, 2018

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The following list will link you to a variety of mental health assessments and screenings. While an assessment can not take the place of a clinical diagnosis, it can give you a better idea if what you’re experiencing is “normal” (when compared to the general population). If your results indicate you may have a problem, it would be wise to schedule an appointment with a therapist or psychologist. (Print your results and bring them with you.)

I’ve also listed sites providing links to tools (including PDF printables) for mental health professionals to use with their clients.

 

Free Online Assessment and Screening Tools for Mental Health

20 Questions: Are You a Compulsive Gambler?

A short interactive self-assessment  

ACE Questionnaire 

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with a variety of health (both physical and mental) conditions in adults. To find your ACE score, take an interactive quiz. Learn more about ACEs on the CDC’s violence prevention webpage.

You can also download the international version (PDF) from the World Health Organization’s Violence and Injury Prevention webpage.

ADAA Screening Tools

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides links to both printable and interactive tests for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. This site does not provide test results. (It’s recommended that you print your results to discuss with a mental health practitioner.) This is an excellent resource for clinicians to print and administer to clients.  

Adult ADHD Assessment Tools

Links to a PDF toolkit for clinicians. Includes Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V.1.1. (ASRS-V1.1) Symptom Checklist,  Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1. (ASRS-V1.1) Screener (English), Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1. (ASRS-V1.1) Screener (Spanish),  Barkley’s Quick-Check for Adult ADHD Diagnosis (Sample),  Brief Semi-Structured Interview for ADHD in Adults,  Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale Self-Report (WFIRS-S), ADHD Medication Side Effects Checklist, Medication Response Form, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and CAGE Questionnaire Adapted to Include Drugs

AlcoholScreening.org

An interactive test that gives personalized results based on age, gender, and drinking patterns

Assessment Instruments Developed at the Center for Trauma and the Community

Access the Trauma History Questionnaire and the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire

Career Assessments

Self-assessments to assess interests, skills, and work values

Depression Self-Assessment

A simple self-assessment tool from Kaiser. Results are provided on a spectrum, ranging from “None” to “Severe” depression.

Domestic Violence Screening Quiz (from PsychCentral)

Interactive test to determine if you’re involved in a dangerous abusive relationship

DrugScreening.org

An interactive test that provides feedback about the likely risks of your drug use and where to find more information, evaluation, and help

Danger Assessment Screening Tool

Clinicians can download a PDF version of this assessment, which helps predict the level of danger in an abusive relationship; this screening tool was developed to predict violence and homicide.

DBSA Mental Health Screening Center

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers screening tools for both children and adults (including versions for parents to answers questions about their child’s symptoms). Take an online assessment for depression, mania, and/or anxiety.

Drug Abuse Screening Test DAST-10

For clinician use, a PDF version of the DAST-10 – does not give results or scoring instructions

ePROVIDE

For clinical or academic use only. Register to access a variety of assessment tools including Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle questionnaire (AHLQ), Eating Disorder Inventory, Brief Evaluation of Medication Influences and Beliefs, Marwit Meuser Caregiver Grief Inventory, the Hooked on Nicotine Checklist, Body-Q, and more.

Financial Well-Being Questionnaire

Take this 10-question interactive test and receive a score (along with helpful financial tips)

Grief and Loss Quiz (from PsychCentral)

Take this test to learn if you may be suffering from complicated grief

Happiness Test (from Psychology Today)

A 20-minute interactive test – free snapshot report with the option to buy the full report for $4.95

Interpersonal Communication Skills Inventory

A PDF self-assessment designed to provide insight into communication strengths and areas for development. Includes scoring instructions.

Keirsey

Take this interactive assessment to learn your temperament. (There are four temperaments: Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, and Rational.) My results were consistent with my Myers-Brigg personality type. (Note: You must create an account and enter a password to view your results.)

Library of Scales (from Outcome Tracker)

25 psychiatric scales (PDF documents) to be used by mental health practitioners in clinical practice. Includes Frequency, Intensity, and Burden of Side Effects Ratings; Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence; Fear Questionnaire; Massachusetts General Hospital Hair Pulling Scale; and more. (Note: Some of the assessments have copyright restrictions for use.)

Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale

Take an interactive self-assessment (from the National Social Anxiety Center) to assess for social anxiety

Mental Health Screening Tools

Online screenings for depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, eating disorders, PTSD, and addiction. You can also take a parent test (for a parent to assess their child’s symptoms), a youth test (for a youth to report his/her symptoms), or a workplace health test. The site includes resources and self-help tools.

The Mood Disorder Questionnaire

A PDF screening tool for clinicians to assess symptoms of bipolar disorder

The National Sleep Foundation Sleepiness Test

An interactive test to assess if you are more or less sleepy than the general population

NORC Diagnostic Screen for Gambling Disorders Self-Administered (from the National Council on Problem Gambling)

An interactive 10-question test to assess gambling behaviors

Open Source Psychometrics Project

This site provides a collection of interactive personality and other tests, including the Open Extended Jungian Type Scales, the Evaluations of Attractiveness Scales, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. On the whole, I’m doubtful of the scientific accuracy of the assessments. (For example, I took the site’s DISC assessment; my score did not match the score I received when I took the certified test through my employer.) Furthermore, the site’s “About” section maintains, “[The site] exists to educate the public… and also to collect research data.” (Collect research data? For who/what?) I would recommend using the site mainly for entertainment purposes (ornot at all if you’re concerned about how your personal data is handled).

Patient Health Questionnaire Screeners

This is a great diagnostic tool for clinicians. Use the drop down arrow to choose a PHQ or GAD screener (which assesses mood, anxiety, eating, sleep, and somatic concerns). The site generates a PDF printable; you can also access the instruction manual. No permission is required to reproduce, translate, display or distribute the screeners.

Project Implicit

A variety of interactive assessments that measures your hidden biases

Psychology Tools

Online self-assessments for addiction, ADHD, aggression, anxiety, autism spectrum, bipolar, depression, eating disorders, OCD, and personality.

Note: These tests may not be entirely accurate. I took the Personality Type Indicator (PTI), which supposedly assesses Myers-Briggs personality type. According to the PTI, I’m an ESFJ… and I’m (indisputably) an INTP. (I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test, several times, with consistent results.) Then again, I took the Social Phobia Inventory, which correctly assessed my social anxiety, and the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale, which validated my online shopping habits!

Recovery Assessment Scales

A variety of assessments for individuals recovering from psychiatric illnesses

Risk-Taking Test (from PsychTests)

Self-test to assess your risk-taking behaviors – Receive a snapshot report with an option to buy the full report

Romantic Attachment Quiz (from PsychCentral)

A 41-item quiz to help you determine your romantic attachment style in relationships

SAMHSA Screening Tools

Valid and reliable screening tools for clinicians. This sites links you to PDF versions of assessments/screenings for depression, drug/alcohol use, bipolar disorder, suicide risk, anxiety disorders, and trauma.

The SAPA Project

SAPA stands for “Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment.” This online personality assessment scores you on 27 “narrow traits,” such as order, impulsivity, and creativity in addition to the “Big Five” (Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness). You’re also scored on cognitive ability. This test takes 20-30 minutes to complete and you will receive a full report when finished.

My results were, for the most part, indicative of my personality. Here’s the description from my “Order” score: “Your score on the Order scale indicates that you are low in orderliness. This suggests that tidiness is not a top priority for you… You don’t waste time organizing everything to be just perfect but this means others may sometimes view you to be a bit messy.” (If you’ve seen my desk, you know this to be true!)

SCOFF (A Quick Assessment for Eating Concerns Based on the SCOFF)

A screening tool for eating problems

Self-Compassion Scale

Links to a PDF version of the SCS (which assesses self-kindness, self-judgment, mindfulness, and more)

Sexual Addiction Screening (from PsychCentral)

A brief screening measure to help you determine if you are struggling with sexual addiction

Similar Minds

A fun site for personality tests. (For entertainment only purposes!)

Sleep Assessments from Sleep and Chronobiology Center (University of Pittsburgh)

Download PDF versions of instruments to assess sleep quality, including the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Insomnia Symptom Questionnaire

Sleep Disorders Screening Survey

A short, interactive test to screen for sleep disorders

SOCRATES

A PDF version of the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale for clinicians to assess readiness to change in alcohol users

Stanford Medicine WellMD

Self-tests for altruism, anxiety, burnout, depression, emotional intelligence, empathy, happiness, mindfulness, physical fitness, PTSD, relationship trust, self-compassion, sleepiness, stress, substance use, and work-life balance

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

Links to several downloadable versions of the SDQ, which is designed to measure behavioral issues in children ages 4-17

Stress Self-Assessments (from The American Institute of Stress)

A variety of self-assessments to measure stress

Stress Test (from PsychCentral)

A 5-minute interactive test to measure your stress level

Suicide Risk Screening Tool

One-page PDF screening tool for clinicians (from the National Institute of Mental Health)

Wellness Self-Assessment

A PDF-version of Princeton University’s tool to measure your wellness in seven dimensions (emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual) – Calculate your results and then create an action plan.

The World Sleep Study

Take this short test to learn your sleep score and then answer additional questions to create a sleep profile.


If you know of a free online assessment for mental health that’s not listed in this post, please share in a comment! Contact me if a link is not working.

9 Myths and Misconceptions about Mental Illness

Are mentally ill people violent? Can mental illness be overcome through willpower? Is addiction a choice? This post addresses some of the myths and misconceptions about mental illness.

By Cassie Jewell, LPC, LSATP

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In this post, I’ll address some of the myths and misconceptions about mental disorders. There continues to be stigma attached to mental illness; and the media is partly to blame. Every time (yet another) mass shooting occurs, the media attributes the act of violence to mental illness. This message is repeated by various news sources and then spread through social media.

Acts of senseless violence are for sure a “sickness,” but they’re not criteria for a diagnosable mental disorder. It’s not fair to compare violent criminals to individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.

Mental illness misconceptions run rampant, even within the healthcare professional field. For example, I know a surgeon who believes mental illness isn’t real and a neurologist who uses words like “crazy” and “retarded.” I came across a substance abuse counselor (on Facebook) who believes addiction is a moral failing. I know a social worker who believes that severely mentally ill individuals are more likely to be violent.


Ignorance is at the root of stigma. The more you know, the less you fear, and the less you’ll stigmatize. Read on to learn what’s myth versus fact.

1. Bad parenting causes mental illness.

Even today, there is no single identified cause when it comes to mental illness. Instead, there are multiple risk factors that contribute to mental disorders. The biggest risk factor is genetics. Genes frequently determine whether or not a person develops schizophrenia, depression, substance use disorder, etc. Physiological factors (such as abnormalities in the brain) are a second risk factor.

Environmental factors, such as fetal exposure to a toxin or childhood abuse, are a third risk factor. Childhood abuse undoubtedly falls into the “bad parenting” category, but as a standalone, it can’t cause mental illness.

It’s more likely that a combination of risk factors will lead to the development of a mental disorder.

2. Mental illness is not a medical disease.

Heart disease affects the heart. Colon cancer affects the colon. Autoimmune disorders affect the immune system. Brain disorders (i.e. mental illness, addiction) affect the brain.

You can’t “see” mental health symptoms the way you can see physical health symptoms, but mental illness is without a doubt physiological in nature.

Like other organs, the brain can become diseased, and it manifests as symptoms of mental illness. You can’t “see” mental health symptoms the way you can see physical health symptoms, but mental illness is without a doubt physiological in nature.

3. All sociopaths are dangerous.

The term “sociopath” (or psychopath) is frequently associated with serial killers. The reality is that you probably know a sociopath and he/she isn’t a murderer.

In fact, “sociopathy” and “psychopathy” are no longer recognized diagnoses in the mental health world due to negative connotations. The correct term is “antisocial personality disorder” (ASPD), a mental illness characterized by an ongoing disregard for and violation of the rights of others. An individual with ASPD may also be exceptionally charismatic. (Some of the most charming and engaging clients I’ve ever worked with had ASPD.)

However, research indicates that an individual with ASPD is more likely to become involved in criminal activity,to have a substance use disorder, and to be aggressive; about 50% of individuals with ASPD have some sort of criminal record. While it’s a misconception to say all individuals with ASPD are dangerous, the link between ASPD and crime is not unfounded.

4. Mental illness can be overcome with willpower.

This is 100% myth and a huge pet peeve of mine. It goes hand-in-hand with the belief that mental illness is not a “real” medical condition. A mental disorder typically requires treatment, such as medication and therapy, and ongoing illness management. 

All the willpower in the world won’t help someone “overcome” heart disease. And it doesn’t work that way with mental illness either.

5. Addiction is a choice.

Substance use disorder is no more of a choice than diabetes or cancer. Like most diseases, addiction develops when a combination of genetic, physiological, and environmental factors are present. Lifestyle choices also play a role. Unfortunately, the myth that addiction is a moral failing persists.

An individual who struggles with addiction receives more blame than someone with a heart condition, even though lifestyle choices heavily impact both disorders. I’ve even heard it said that addicts who overdose shouldn’t be revived because it was their “choice” to use. If that’s the logic, then should we stop providing life saving care to someone who’s having a heart attack or to a smoker with lung cancer? Of course not. At times, we all make poor decisions. For someone with a predisposition for addiction, the choice to drink may lead to alcohol use disorder. For the person with a predisposition for diabetes, eating an unhealthy diet or living a sedentary lifestyle will result in consequences.

Furthermore, once a person develops a substance use disorder, physiological and structural changes in the brain dissolve the element of choice. The brain misinterprets a craving for drugs or alcohol. (Remember the last time you experienced extreme thirst? That’s what it’s like to be addicted to something.)

Having a substance use disorder is miserable, lonely, and shameful. No one would choose that.

6. People with mental illness are violent.

A person with mental illness is no more likely to be violent than someone in the general population. In fact, acts of violence are not diagnostic criteria for any of the known mental disorders.

If I had to choose someone to hold a loaded gun, I’d pick the person with schizophrenia over someone who’s prone to anger or has poor self-control.

I work with clients who hear “command” voices (auditory hallucinations that tell them to harm or kill); yet I’ve never felt unsafe. In my experience, it’s uncommon for an individual to obey the voices. If I had to choose someone to hold a loaded gun, I’d pick the person with schizophrenia over someone who’s prone to anger or has poor self-control.

While the media would have us believe that mental illness is at the root of every mass shooting, that isn’t the case. (Not to say that mental illness can’t play a role, but it’s not always the trigger.) The biggest risk factor for violence is a history of violence, especially domestic violence, or crime.

Regarding violence, what’s true is that individuals with mental illness are more likely to die by suicide. Persons with schizophrenia have higher rates of suicide than the general population. Depression, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder are also linked to suicide.

Don’t confuse mental illness with a lack of morals.

A mental disorder is a medical condition; having weak morals is a personality trait, and while it seems mentally sick, it’s not fair to compare a lack of morals to a condition like depression or anxiety.

7. Mental illness is the same thing as mental retardation.

I’m friends with a nurse who didn’t even know the difference (until I pointed it out). A person with a mental illness may seem less intelligent due to various factors, but mental illness is not comparable to mental retardation. Today, we refer to mental retardation as intellectual disability (due to the negative connotations attached to the word “retarded”).

A person with an intellectual disability (ID) struggles to understand, comprehend, and/or form memories. A person with mental illness, on the other hand, may have superior intelligence, but could seem “slow” due to distractions brought on by their illness. (For example, it’s difficult to focus on a conversation when you’re having racing thoughts or hearing voices.)

8. A person with schizophrenia has multiple personalities.

Nope; total myth. In fact, multiple personality disorder (MPD) doesn’t exist (technically). What was formally known as MPD in the DSM-IV TR (the previous version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) is now termed disassociative identity disorder [DID]. A person with DID has at least two distinct personality “states” and suffers from gaps in memory. DID is incredibly rare.

A person with schizophrenia, on the other hand, has one personality state. However, he/she may hear voices that take on distinct identities.

In addition to auditory hallucinations, someone with schizophrenia may experience visual hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thoughts, cognitive deficits, and/or what’s referred to as “negative” symptoms. (A negative symptom is a lack of something that’s typically present in someone without schizophrenia. For example, a person with schizophrenia may be socially withdrawn or he/she may seem very “flat” [without emotion]).

9. Alcohol makes you depressed because it’s a depressant.

Yes, alcohol is a depressant; but as a “depressant,” it depresses your central nervous system, leading to slurred speech, trouble with coordination, etc. The “depressant” effects of alcohol are unrelated to clinical depression.

However, heavy alcohol use is associated with depression and other mental disorders. Someone who is struggling with depression or anxiety may drink as a way to self-medicate. Alternatively, someone with an alcohol use disorder may develop depression, as alcohol upsets the chemical balance in the brain. The lifestyle of someone with alcohol use disorder may also lead to intense guilt, shame, and/or hopelessness, which can in turn lead to depression.


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