Skip to Content

Mental Health Tools

Original Publication Date: May 23, 2013
Last Updated: April 2, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes

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(link is external) 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

Arabic translation of CAPS is also available.

Harvard Trauma Questionnaire

The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire(link is external) 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(link is external) has also developed an Arabic version.

Hopkins Symptom Checklist

The Hopkins Symptom Checklist 25(link is external) 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(link is external) (5 HSCL 25- Arabic), and the International Counseling & Community Services(link is external) at LCSNW (Arabic_3_Hopkins CL25_Final) have developed Arabic versions.

Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale

The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS)(link is external) 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.