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Behavioral Health Screening Programs

Screening Tools for Coexisting Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Trillium Health Resources has established behavioral health screening programs to assist providers and practitioners in determining the likelihood that a member has a coexisting substance use and mental health disorder. These screening tools are based on evidence from research studies that have been shown to be effective in the detection of positive screening for behavioral health symptoms and can be used as part of the general assessment of a member to determine if further evaluation is needed for formal diagnostic identification and treatment planning.

Recommended Substance use Screening tools


Members who have a mental health disorder for the possible presence of a coexisting substance use disorder

Very often, individuals who are treated for mental health disorders misuse substances such as alcohol, nicotine, and stimulants. It commonly happens that a physician or mental health clinician will tend to address the presenting issue or symptoms and not screen for coexisting conditions which can complicate a person’s road to recovery. Alcohol is primarily or secondarily implicated in a large number of medical problems.

It is recommended that mental health clinicians, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians complete a substance use screening on every member/patient as part of their assessment process.

The screening tools have been reviewed by Trillium’s Clinical Advisory Committee, representing providers and practitioners within the Network and are being recommended for use by Trillium Health Resources’ Network.  

Here is a list of the recommended screening tools for substance use. 

  • CAGE (Substance Abuse Screening Tool) – 4 items
  • CAGE AID (Substance Abuse Screening Tool- Adapted to Include Drug Use)- 4 items
  • DAST (Drug Abuse Screening Test)- 28 items
  • DAST-10 (Drug Abuse Screening Test-10) – 10 items
  • AUDIT (The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) – 10 items
  • AUDIT-C (a modified version of The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) – 3 items

As a member of the Trillium network, providers and practitioners may select one or more of the following screening instruments to add to their existing array of tools.  Trillium distributes information on the screening programs to practitioners and providers at least every two years by communication bulletins, email, and on its website. Notifications will also be provided when there are revisions and/or additions to the screening programs. If any technical assistance is needing regarding these instruments, providers/practitioners may contact Trillium at 1-866-998-2597. Trillium welcomes feedback from providers about other screening tools they use in their current treatment setting. Feedback and recommendations will be taken into consideration for future features/highlights on our website. Feedback or recommendations may be sent to QMinfo@TrilliumNC.org.

Recommended Substance use Screening tools

Recommended Mental Health Screening tools

Members who have a substance use disorder for the possible presence of coexisting mental health disorders 

The following is a list of screening instruments that can assist in identifying the onset of mental health conditions with members who are presenting with substance use issues. It is not uncommon for individuals who are being treated for substance use disorders to have coexisting mental health conditions.  Some members/patients use substances as a primary reason to self-medicate due to underlying mental health issues. A physician or mental health clinician may assess the presenting mental health condition or symptoms, but may not screen for coexisting substance use because it is out of their scope to treat. However, the screen for such coexisting conditions can help to better link the member to other specialty care for further assessment and treatment which can make a significant difference in the member’s whole-person care.

It is recommended that mental health screenings be completed on every member/patient as part of their assessment process in primary care and behavioral health care.

The following screening tools have been reviewed by Trillium’s Clinical Advisory Committee representing providers and practitioners within the Network and are being recommended for use by Trillium Health Resources for their network of providers. 

  • Child Behavior Checklist for ages 6-18 (CBCL/6-18)
  • Parent Stress Index, 4th Edition (PSI-4) 
  • Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Questionnaire-IV (SNAP-IV)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 item scale (GAD-7)
  • Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ)
  • Primary Care Post-traumatic stress disorder Screen for DSM-5 (PC PTSD-5)
  • Mental Health Screening Form-III (MHDF-III)
  • Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6)
  • Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

As a member of the Trillium network, providers and practitioners may select one or more of the screening instruments to add to their existing array of tools.  Trillium distributes information on the screening programs to practitioners and providers at least every two years by communication bulletins, email, and on its website. Notifications will also be provided when there are revisions and/or additions to the screening programs. If any technical assistance is needed regarding these instruments, providers/practitioners may contact Trillium at 1-866-998-2597. Trillium welcomes feedback from providers about other screening tools they use in their current treatment setting. Feedback and recommendations will be taken into consideration for future features/highlights on our website. Feedback or recommendations may be sent to QMinfo@TrilliumNC.org.

Recommended Mental Health Screening tools