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Online survey assesses mental health

Wednesday - 12/19/2012, 4:26pm  ET

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Whether it's the holiday blues or signs of a more serious mental health issue, there is a free, quick online screening test that can help judge whether you might benefit from consulting a mental health professional.

"What's My M3?" is a 27 question screening which provides a single number that represents the likelihood of a clinically significant disorder, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post traumatic stress disorder.

"We feel mental health should have a number, just like most of us know to be concerned about a cholesterol score over 200," says Dr. Gerald Hurowitz, chief medical officer for M3 Information.

M3 stands for My Mood Monitor.

Hurowitz says the test takes about three minutes for an adult to take.

After reading a statement, for instance, "I feel worried or fearful," the test-taker chooses from Not At All, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, or Most of the Time.

While other screening questionnaires provide feedback, Hurowitz says "What's My M3?" is the first to provide a single number to signify clues of mental illness.

"A single score which indicated pretty neatly your risk of having some mental illness," says Hurowitz.

Hurowitz says during the holidays, while many people report having the blues, "it's important to be able to separate normal frustrations and sadness from having a real condition."

The developers of the test cite medical review, funded by the developers, showing validity of the M3 score.

Available for free online, "What's My M3?" is also available as an iPhone or Android app.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)