Professionals Learn About Online Screening System
February 21, 2005—Bend, Oregon—InCrisis, a Bend based software company, is training health care professionals to use a revolutionary system that identifies adolescents who may have a mental disorder and risk of violent, suicidal or violent behavior. Parents complete a questionnaire that is available online. A sophisticated computer system, called StepOne for Parents, generates a useful and detailed report that is designed primarily for parents but can also be used by physicians, mental health care professionals as well as school and human service programs. StepOne for Parents is extremely secure, private and available at no-charge for a limited time to Oregonians.
The first trainings for mental health professionals in the use of StepOne began in January and February 2005. More advanced trainings are scheduled for March with additional training monthly in Oregon. Continuing education credit is being provided by Mentor Research Institute (MRI), a Portland based 501c3 charitable non-profit mental health information and research institute. StepOne services are administered and provided to Oregonians by Mentor Research Institute as part of a charitable donation from InCrisis.
The idea behind StepOne for Parents is to make mental health screening available 24-7 to parents as well as health care and mental health professionals. Psychologists, social workers, counselors and physicians can use StepOne for Parents to identify potential problems, schedule appointments in a timely manner and save time during the first appointment. Use of StepOne has already shown that parents are more likely to find the right professional help and make the most use of their time, insurance benefits and money. Professionals are also more likely to make appointment for the patients they are qualified to work with. Parents have found the system useful especially when they are overwhelmed and in crisis. StepOne can be a real help to parents who don't know what to do, where to turn and what to say when contacting health care providers. The results of a StepOne screening are designed to help professionals quickly identify potential issues and the level of concern.
StepOne for Parents can be very helpful to parents in rural areas and those who cannot access mental health professionals quickly. Instead of using the yellow pages and leaving countless messages, parents can use this system to identify the important issues and then talk more effectively with the right people. Ironically, many parents are facing problems on the weekend or in the evening when mental health professionals are not available. Parents who leave messages with a potential therapist on a Friday may not get a call back until Monday or Tuesday. StepOne is always available and it is a first step that parents can take on their own.
StepOne does not replace the importance of face-to-face evaluation and treatment. It does not diagnose or treat people. The developers point out that StepOne for Parents is a screening and information tool and NOT an evaluation. But it does gather and organize information in a way that can help parents to describe what they know, see and are concerned about. This can help both professionals and parents.
Correction: March 1, 2005
Founded and headquartered in Bend, Oregon, InCrisis created the first comprehensive Internet-based behavioral screening service, called StepOne for Parents, for youth from 12 to 17 years of age. InCrisis created StepOne for Parents to provide important screening and monitoring services to professionals and parents of teenage children who do not have timely or affordable access to qualified mental health care services. StepOne for Parents, which was designed to enhance and complement the role of face-to-face professional services, meets the highest professional and ethical standards for development and operation.
Mentor Research Institute is a non-profit educational and research organization with a focus on mental health for youth and families; homelessness, effective intervention, public and professional education.
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