WAC Meeting #1 Featured Discussion- Online Assessments, Information is Power

One of the site features is the inclusion of standardized mental health assessments, in order to help the user better understand what their mood, behaviors, and emotions mean, and what they can do about them. In the first phase of our site, screeners will assess both anxiety and depression. The WAC suggested including additional screeners for other mental health conditions, such as for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We hope to roll out further screeners in phase two of the project.

The screeners are not intended to provide a formal diagnosis, instead just bring awareness to symptoms that may be present. Even though the screeners may not be a formal assessment, we believe they are useful because they may help to estimate the severity of the issue as well as provide direction with regard to what can be done next. So, we asked the committee what they would like to see after results have been given.

Primarily, the WAC’s ideas centered around accessing the health care system. Ideas included listing links of outside resources nearby, to having tip sheets on how to choose a health care professional, the ability to download and bring the results of your assessments with you during a visit, and how to make the most of your appointments.

A running theme from the committee meeting today really aligns with our vision of self-empowerment. That is the idea that people want to be informed in order to gain insight into their health and take action. With assessments this is no exception- the committee wanted to see explanations of how their score was calculated and why. This makes it clear to us that transparency is a goal to keep in mind with every step of the process.