Early identification of mental health problems in schools: The status of instrumentation

Jessica Mass Levitt*, Noa Saka, Lisa Hunter Romanelli, Kimberly Hoagwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


When embedded within a continuum of mental health services including both prevention and treatment, school-based mental health identification programs can promote improved academic and mental health functioning among students. This article describes the scientific status of assessment instrumentation that may be used for early mental health identification in schools. Currently available instruments are described in terms of their ability to accurately detect youth with mental health problems. Implications for selecting mental health screening and assessment instruments and integrating them into schools are discussed. Finally, a range of approaches to early identification in schools as well as some of the broader ethical and practical issues related to the integration of these strategies into a school-wide continuum of services are presented.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-191
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Early identification
  • Mental health
  • Prevention
  • School services


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