MindWise Adds Fifteenth Mental Health Screening: Assessing Problem Anger
|MindWise is proud to announce a new mental health screening for anger in our Screening Program. This new screening empowers individuals to look at their behavior over the preceding month and determine if further assessment and/or treatment by a mental health professional may be beneficial. With the addition of the Anger Screen, the MindWise Screening Program now offers fifteen screens covering everything from disordered eating to depression to overall well-being. All our screens are anonymous with no results information stored.
Mental health screenings are powerful tools that assist individuals in identifying if certain experiences they’re having may (or may not) be consistent with the symptoms of a mental illness. The line between sadness and depression, the experience of anger we all feel versus a destructive expression of anger, or worry and anxiety is not always easy to distinguish, particularly when our judgment might be clouded by the very mental health issue we’re concerned about. Screens are quick and easy tools that address this difficulty – most can be completed in 2-3 minutes, and all provide immediate, confidential results and resources.
Why An Anger Screen?
A core part of MindWise’s mission is suicide prevention, of which a key component is supporting at-risk groups. When it comes to death by suicide, middle-aged men face higher risks than women or the national average. Moreover, “men’s anxiety and depression often come across as anger or irritability rather than worry and sadness, so conditions that can raise the risk of suicide can go undiagnosed and untreated” (The Wall Street Journal). Without the awareness that problem anger may be a warning sign of a mental illness, men (and the loved ones around them) may not know where to turn for help. MindWise’s Chief Behavioral Health Officer Lisa Desai hopes that the new anger screening will help bridge this gap between what we think we know about mental health and the facts. “We know that men disproportionately act out anger in ways that can be destructive or harmful, and that men more often experience depression as anger. We know that untreated problem anger contributes to physical health problems like high blood pressure,” says Dr. Desai. “Learning to manage anger is very possible; there are strategies and resources to help men – and women – lead productive, happy and healthy lives.”
Another important component of suicide prevention is early identification, which screening facilitates. When someone’s experiencing a mental illness, the earlier they recognize that illness and connect with a mental health professional to begin treatment, the better their outcomes will likely be. Earlier identification leads to earlier diagnosis, which leads to greater support and access to more resources. If I was feeling constant worry and stress, I could take our Anxiety Screen; if I was concerned about my drinking habits, I could take our Alcohol Use Screen. The Anger Screen opens a window into a universal part of the human experience – in Dr. Desai’s words, “anger is an emotion that everyone experiences at different rates and intensities. Anger that is out of control, frequent, and results in verbal or physical aggression is destructive and dangerous.” Everyone feels anger at times, and now we offer a path forward for those concerned about this part of their behavior – men in particular.
Connecting Men With Mental Health Support
As with physical health – where men are less likely to check in with a healthcare professional – mental health can be a taboo topic for men. We at MindWise know that women utilize our Mental Health Screening Program more often than men, and that is why our Anger Screen will include a question asking if the person taking the screening is doing so on behalf of a man. While anyone may experience problem anger and anyone may benefit from this new screening, we want to ensure that we’re reaching the at-risk group mentioned above: middle-aged men. If loved ones take the anger screen on behalf of a man, they are doing so to support him, and understanding that his anger may be a symptom of a mental health problem is an important part of that support.
Moreover gaining greater knowledge of who is taking our screenings (at a population level only; all of our screenings are anonymous) enables us to continually improve the program and to target resources specifically to those who need them.
A Check-Up From the Neck Up
We track our steps, observe our heart rate and blood pressure, monitor our nutrition, and more to check-in on our physical health. We should do the same for our mental health and MindWise’s Mental Health Screening Program is designed to assist people to do just that – periodically check-up on our mental well-being with a brief screening. Adding the Anger Screen to the Screening Program is part of our commitment to helping folks identify what they’re struggling with.