Interactive Screening Program
ISP connects individuals to mental health services before crises emerge
The Interactive Screening Program (ISP) is an online program utilized by mental health services at institutions of higher education, including medical and professional degree schools, hospitals and health systems, law enforcement agencies, and organizations and workplaces through their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
Even when people know about available mental health services, shame, fear, and embarrassment often prevent them from seeking help. Through a customized program website/platform, ISP provides a safe and confidential way for individuals to take a brief screening for stress, depression, and other mental health conditions, and receive a personal response from a program counselor within the mental health services available to them. Individuals can anonymously communicate with the program counselor to receive recommendations, feedback, and support for connecting to available mental health services.
Listed in the Best Practice Registry for Suicide Prevention and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Tools and Resources for Physician Well-Being, ISP is connecting thousands of people to help they would not have sought otherwise.
ISP’s key principles
To reduce barriers to care and encourage people to use available mental health services, ISP is based on a set of key principles.
Anonymity helps participants feel comfortable disclosing the challenges they may be facing and asking questions.
Personalized contact with counselors
Instead of computerized feedback, participants receive a response to their questionnaire with personalized support for help-seeking from a counselor.
Connection to participant’s experience
Counselors respond to participants’ experience rather than suggesting diagnoses or emphasizing the “need” for treatment.
Participants and counselors work together to lessen participants’ concerns about seeking services. Participants’ get their questions answered about available services, and select which option suits their needs and comfort level.
Together, these principles help people feel more comfortable connecting with mental health services, increasing their sense of connectedness and fostering more positive attitudes toward mental health care.