Mental health self-assessment (MHSA - III)

Upitnik samo-procjene teškoća mentalnog zdravlja - III

Tarabić, B. N. (2023). Mentalno Zdravlje. Upitnik samo-procjene teškoća mentalnog zdravlja - III.



More than 80% of people have experience some mental health issued (World Health Organization, 2019) and for 1 out of 4 people, at some point of their lives, these difficulties will be severe enough that they could be classified as acute disorders (World Health Organization, 2001).

We still live in a society where mental health care is neglected. Personal (psychological) suffering is characterized by upbringing as something for the 'weak', a burden on others, something not 'normal' and unexpected, something you don't talk about. Fortunately, that is slowly changing! Mental health difficulties don't have to be either a 'drama' or 'nothing'. Mental health includes numerous aspects of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional life of an individual, and every individual, as in the case of physical health, has the right to information about his mental health (including suspected difficulties in the field of mental health)! Withholding information that someone may have mental health difficulties is like forbidding breast and testicular (cancer) self-exams. It's all about paying attention and timely (pre)intervnetion. Where there is no cancer, it will not arise just because we are examined. If we notice a lump, we go to the doctor - who then engages in diagnostic procedures. If we notice any change or difficulty in the area of our mental health, we should also go to a specialist, who will do the same.

Unfortunately, as with various other physical illnesses to which we do not pay attention, even though we could, we usually become 'aware' of mental health difficulties only when our daily functioning begins to suffer significantly. Interventions and recovery that begin at an advanced stage are long and expensive, both monetary and functionally. That is why it is important to react as soon as possible! Sometimes it won't even be a question of solving difficulties, but of improving something that is already good but could be even better and more functional!

If it is taken into account that every person is a part of the community, by making the individual more functional and satisfied, the positive effects of the personal development and building of the individual spill over to the community in which the individual lives, resulting in a chain of micro changes that increase the overall quality of life (through better communication, improvement of relations, better distribution and definition of mutual obligations and tasks, etc.) of the entire community.

Psychological disability - the 'invisible' cause of the largest part of costs in the form of hours of non-productive work and disruption of interpersonal relationships - exceeds all other medical and non-medical absences from the workplace, as well as other factors that disrupt the lives of individuals and communities. For this reason, psychological treatment is, by the size of the effect, among the most profitable investments in building and strengthening both the individual and the community; fostering positive relations and cohesion.

What are all mental health difficulties and/or areas of its' possible improvement? Uh, there are a lot of them! Here are just a few!

From my clinical and counseling practice as well as from my other professional and scientific work, I extracted a number of sentences and grouped them with regard to the categories of difficulties they can indicate. This is not a diagnostic tool! Nothing can replace diagnostic procedures performed by an expert and diagnostic instrument that have been validated. After filling out this questionnaire, there might be some that will panic instead of seeking professional help. In the end maybe this 'panic' will encourage them to stand up for themselves and seek help :). After all, we cannot ban those who are prone to panic from the Internet or keep them protected from everything all the time - strength comes from facing our fears, not from courage (I don't know where exactly the line between courage and stupidity is).

This is a psycho-educational material that aims to sensitize individuals to their own and others' mental health difficulties. Most of these sentences may seem unbelievable to us (unbelievable that someone is saying them to themselves) - until the moment we 'catch' ourselves saying them. By reading these sentences, users can not only recognize themselves in them, they also can and are encouraged to think about how people who say them every day feel and how they impact their lives, what people who treat them as an absolute truth, feel and look like. Such people are all around us, and there is a high probability that we are one of those people.

After completing this questionnaire, the number of statements in which you recognized yourself will be shown and categorized according to the different categories of mental health difficulties. Even if you recognize yourself in these sentences, it does not mean that your difficulties are at a level where you should seek professional help or that you have difficulties at all. What is important is the following: whether you can call a 'particularity' or condition a mental health difficulty primarily depends on how much it disrupts the daily functioning of you and/or the people around you. These are only rough guidelines that you could pay attention to, so if you recognize yourself in them and it turns out that your daily functioning is still not at the level it once was or at which it could be in general - perhaps you could should consult an expert.

World Health Organization. (2019). Special initiative for mental health (2019-2023). Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health. Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Health Organization. (2001). World health report. Mental disorders affect one in four people. Treatment available but not being used. Retrieved July 7th 2020 from:


It is a psycho-educational material that aims to sensitize the individual not only to his own but also to the mental health difficulties of others (see: LINK), which can also be used as a valuable tool in treatment work with clients.
1. The questionnaire is intended exclusively for persons older than 18, who have at least average intellectual abilities (without intellectual disabilities).
2. Even if the answers to some of the items are 'Yes', it does not mean that the person who filled out the questionnaire has mental health difficulties at the level that they should seek professional help, or that they have difficulties at all. At the same time, the Author of the questionnaire encourages people who filled out the questionnaire to seek professional help if they feel that they are in a state of psychological distress and/or as if they have significant mental health difficulties, regardless of how many items they answered with 'Yes'.
3. The questionnaire is NOT a psychodiagnostic tool, the questionnaire does NOT have a form for interpretation, and the number of items that a person has marked to describe it is not in itself a numerical (quantitative indicator) of the severity of mental health difficulties.
4. In case the results on the questionnaire are used as part of treatment work with clients, the answers on the questionnaire should be interpreted jointly by the client and the therapist, discussing them.
5. Ideally, the questionnaire is applied: 1) before coming to the first session or seeking the help of a specialist, so that in addition to taking an anamnesis, the discussion about individual answers to the questionnaire can indicate some areas that should be discussed in more detail; 2) during (after 4 to 5 treatment sessions) and/or after the treatment is completed in order to monitor its effectiveness (quantitatively - by reducing the number of symptoms and/or signs; and/or qualitatively - by discussing the meaning of individual responses and observing the change in their meaning for the client and/or monitoring the implementation of the strategy of dealing with them).
6. The questionnaire can also be used to get to know yourself better, for example by asking yourself the question - What would my life or the life of my loved ones look like in 10 years, if the answer to [some specific question] was still 'Yes'? Do I want to do something about it?
7. In the case of suicidal ideation - you must seek help, choose life!
8. A short version of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) is part of the battery of measures that are part of the Self-Assessment of Mental Health Difficulties Questionnaire, the results of which can be compared with the suggested assessment of the severity of the mentioned symptoms.

How much is two plus three (enter a number: e.g. 10):

By opening the questionnaire, you confirm that you have read the entire text of this page.