Use of mental health screening instruments by non-medical helping professionals: A needs assessment


When screening women intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors for mental health concerns, helping professionals must balance the very real concerns that arise with diagnostic labels with the equally real difficulties related to mental health problems. To better understand whether and how mental health screening tools can be more useful in this process, the current study reports findings from an online needs assessment. The nationally representative sample included 325 professionals who work with IPV survivors in United States. Overall, participants have a positive attitude about assessing mental health concerns even though most do not conduct such assessments. From this, the following four areas are highlighted: (a) a need for training, (b) the appropriateness of screening, (c) factors that limit use, and (d) assessment tools. Findings also suggest it may be beneficial to develop instruments and/or protocols that are tailored to the unique needs/ experiences of IPV survivors. © The Author(s) 2014.

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence