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New screen provides patients with a 'mental health number'

February 7, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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A new mental health screen, WhatsMyM3, has been medically proven to screen for depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and PTSD.  The questionnaire screen, which takes three minutes or less, can be taken online, at a physicians’ office or through an app on a mobile phone.

WhatsMyM3, developed by NIMH professionals, uses technology to give patients a “Mental Health Number” that reflects their mental health risk.  Patients and doctors can now monitor their mental health by tracking this number, similar to the way patients monitor cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. 

The results are reported immediately after the questionnaire is completed. A primary score of 33 or greater indicates a significant risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. Also reported are four sub-scores, reflecting the individual's risk for each of the four major conditions, so one can get targeted professional care.  WhatsMyM3 also screens for suicide risk and substance abuse, and offers telephone hotline access with immediate instructional support.

The M3 Checklist was validated in a study performed at the University of North Carolina and published in the March 2010 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. The study was based on the responses of 647 patients at the University of North Carolina Family Practice Medicine Clinic. Since the publication of the study in March 2010, the Beta version M3 Checklist has been taken by people in all 50 states and in more than 120 countries.

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