Free, Brief, and Validated: Standardized Instruments for Low-Resource Mental Health Settings

This resource was selected by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.

Evidence-based assessment has received little attention despite its critical importance to the evidence-based practice movement. Given the limited resources in the public sector, it is necessary for evidence-based assessment to utilize tools with established reliability and validity metrics that are free, brief, and easily accessible. This brief reviews tools that meet these criteria for youth and adult mental health for the most prevalent mental health disorders. These tools will provide a clinical guide and references for the selection of assessment tools for public sector settings. This brief also discusses recommendations for how to move forward the evidence-based assessment agenda.


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