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Mental Health Screens Show ADHD, Depression

Written by Bruce Cruser

Bruce Cruser has been Executive Director of Mental Health Virginia since 2016, bringing a background in social work and community corrections, and many years of leadership experience in local and state government.

November 1, 2023

“From July to September 2023, 82% of Virginians taking a MHA mental health screening test showed signs of moderate or severe depression, with 32% showing signs of severe depression.”

Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Mental Health America provides free, on-line preliminary tests for depression, anxiety, and several other mental health conditions. Following screening, you are provided with information, resources and tools to help you understand and improve your mental health.

When the pandemic hit, there was a tremendous increase in the number of people concerned about their mental health. Over 10,000 Virginians took one of MHA’s mental health online screenings between July and September 2000, an increase of 500% over the same quarter the year before.

This year the number is down from the peak in 2000, but it has stayed high, with 8,171 tests for a mental health condition in the last quarter. Mental Health America provides us with summary data from the anonymous screens with Virginia zip codes.

Virginians taking a mental health screen were predominately young, white females who have never been in treatment. The screening tests taken most frequently were for ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Large percentages of those taking these screens scored positive for needing further assessment, with possible severe or moderate depression, anxiety, or ADHD.

From July to September 2023, 82% screened positive for moderate or severe depression, with 32% showing signs of severe depression.

78% of those taking an anxiety screen showed moderate to severe anxiety.

52% of all the people taking a mental health screen had never received treatment for a mental health problem.

  • 56% of those taking the anonymous screens were between 11 and 24 years old (24% between 11 and 15 years old)
  • 46% identified as students
  • 60% were female
  • 23% were LGBTQ
  • 59% were White, 13% Black, 8% Latinx, 7% Asian, and 7% more than one race

When asked: “What are the three main things contributing to your mental health problems right now?”, Loneliness and Relationships were reported in both 2020 and 2023. However, Body Image/Self-Image was listed most often in 2023.

Online screening tools are meant to be a quick snapshot of your mental health. If your results indicate you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, consider sharing your results with someone. A mental health provider can give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better.

The more we look at mental health as part of everyone’s overall health, the easier it is to talk about it, and to ask for help if you’re not feeling well. Mental health conditions are common and treatable. The sooner you get help, the better the outcomes. You can take a free Mental Health Screening at:

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