Mental Health Tools

Several evaluation and assessment tools have been developed by torture rehabilitation experts. Below is a list of the most common tools. Some of these have been translated, but not all translations have been validated.  
Please contact the appropriate organization to learn more about each tool and for permission to use the tools.

Mental Health First Aid Kit

SAMHSA’s Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs has compiled a very useful compliation of mental health resources in this Mental Health First Aid Kit. 

Evaluating Refugee Mental Health & Screening Follow-Up

Dr. Vukovich (CVT), in collaboration with Dr. Patricia Shannon and Raiza Beltran, MPH, of the University of Minnesota, presented this poster at the North American Refugee Health Conference. 

Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS)

CAPS is a highly-regarded instrument developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. A version for children and adolescents is available. The

is also available.

Harvard Trauma Questionnaire

The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire is one of the most-used mental health evaluation tools. It has been translated into Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Japanese, Croatian and Bosnian. The Heartland Alliance's Marjorie Kovler Center has also developed an Arabic version.

Hopkins Symptom Checklist

The Hopkins Symptom Checklist 25 is a common mental health evaluation tool. It was originally developed by Parloff, Kelman, and Frank at Johns Hopkins University, and reduced to its 25-item version by Karl Rickels. Bosnian, Cambodian, Croatian, Japanese, Laotian, and Vietnamese are also available. colleagues at the Heartland Alliance's Marjorie Kovler Center (5 HSCL 25- Arabic), and the International Counseling & Community Services at LCSNW (Arabic_3_Hopkins CL25_Final) have developed Arabic versions.

Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale

The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS) is a 49-item self-report measure recommended for use in clinical or research settings to measure severity of PTSD symptoms related to a single identified traumatic event. 


The RHS-15 is a tool for screening refugees for emotional distress and mental health. The RHS-15 was developed in a community public health setting to be an efficient and effective way to sensitively detect the range of emotional distress common across refugee groups. Click here for more information.

Adapted modified aggression scale

This aggression scale was adapted by the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma, St. Louis to assess presence of avoidant, fighting/bullying, anger and cooperative/caring behavior among middle school-aged youth. It is an adaptation of the Modified Aggression Scale (see section 1, page 12) developed by Bosworth & Espelage in 1995 and 1999.



Average: 5 (1 vote)

Projective tools

Recommended for use with refugee/immigrant children, but only if there is a common language, never with an interpreter. Practitioners should be well versed in cross-cultural issues in testing.


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Test of Nonverbal Intelligence

The Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (TONI) is useful for assessing refugee and immigrant children for an approximation of their intelligence, when English and Spanish language tests are not an option. Administrator should be well-versed in cross-cultural issues in testing.


Average: 5 (1 vote)

Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children

Developed by John Briere, PhD in 1996, this measure assesses the effects of childhood trauma through the child’s self-report of trauma symptoms. Designed for use with children ages 8-16, but possibly applicable with 17-year-olds as well.

For more information about the TSCC, see John Briere's page on the measure. You may obtain the measure through PAR. It is available in English and Spanish.


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What About You? A Workbook for Those Who Care for Others

Excellent workbook includes activities, case studies, self-assessments, strategies, and more. Resources are available at both the individual level and the (seldom-addressed) organizational level. Highly recommended.


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Woodcock-Johnson and Woodcock-Muñoz Cognitive Tests

The Woodcock-Johnson is a standard test of cognitive abilities for ages 2-90. The Spanish version of the test is the Woodcock-Muñoz. Both tests are recommended for use with torture survivors and immigrant children.


Average: 5 (1 vote)