General mental health instruments

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There is also a wide range of standardised tools that can be used to screen and assess specifically for co-occurring mental health conditions. Here we provide an overview of some of these tools, with focus given to those that require minimal training to use and are freely available. A range of additional screening tools are described in Appendix I. It should be noted that some of these tools require specialist training, or else mislabelling, misinterpretation, or inappropriate use may occur [389, 425, 465]. Some tools are copyright protected and need to be purchased, and/or require the worker to have specific qualifications. The requirements of each tool described here (and in Appendix I) are explained accordingly. It is important that workers are aware of what they are and are not trained to use and seek training where required. Readers are also referred to Deady’s [466] comprehensive review of screening tools for use in AOD settings. This document is available online at

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, screening is designed only to highlight the existence of symptoms, not to diagnose clients. The possible presence of disorders needs to be assessed by a health professional who is qualified and trained to do so (e.g., a registered psychologist, or psychiatrist). Most of the measures described are those of self-report (i.e., they may be self-completed by the client). Others, however, need to be administered by the AOD worker. 

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