Alliance Health has established recognized screening instruments to support providers in the early identification and diagnosis of individuals experiencing co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. These instruments are tools to be used to inform providers and practitioners in developing whole-person care with members receiving MHSUD services.


Eligible members are identified as members receiving services with a mental health or substance use provider in Alliance Health’s Provider Network. Mental health providers should complete a substance use screening as part of their intake and assessment process. Substance use providers should complete a mental health screening during their intake and assessment process. Providers and practitioners are encouraged to use more than one screening tool as needed and appropriate.

Screenings and Frequency

The following screening instruments have been reviewed by Alliance Health’s Committee on Provider Quality for use. This committee consists of network provider representatives, network clinicians, and internal Alliance Health employees. Screening instruments are evidenced-based and/or considered best practices. The committee reviews and updates this screening program at least annually, and as needed when new research, evidence, and/or information becomes available.

ScreeningWho is Eligible Conditions for Application Appropriate Ages How Many Questions Who Completes FrequencyWhere to Access
AUDITAnyone suspected of alcohol disorders
Suspected alcohol disorders
10Health professional or paraprofessional
As needed when problem use suspected
Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
CAGE-AIDAny adult member receiving a CCAAll MH membersAdults4ClinicianAt initial assessment, or if SUD suspectedCenter of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions
Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
Children and adolescents (6-18 years old)
To assess grief/loss and anxiety/mood
6-18 years old
120Parents or caregiver
Every 6 months
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Any adolescent or adult receiving a CCA
All MH members
Older youth and adults
At initial assessment, or if SUD suspected
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Available in English and Spanish
Any suspicion that anxiety is present or playing a role in presenting problem
18+ but has been used in 11-17
No recommendation provided
Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions
Kessler 10
Any adult; available in multiple languages
To measure psychological distress
Adults10Clinician or patient determined by version used
No recommendation provided
National Comorbidity Survey
Kessler 6
Any adult; available in multiple languages
To measure psychological distress
Adults6Clinician or patient determined by version used
No recommendation provided
National Comorbidity Survey
Outpatient setting; Primary care patients receiving treatment for depression
To screen adults for bipolar disorder
No recommendation provided
Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions
Adults in SUD settings
Designed for MH screening in SUD settings
Adults18 yes/noClinician or patient
Screening upon admission to SUD programs
Parent Stress Index (PSI)
Children through 12 year olds; typically in outpatient settings including pediatric practices
Screening and triage measure for evaluating parenting system
Children under 12 years old
101 itemsParents or caregiver
No recommendation provided
American Psychological Association
Any adult
Designed for universal use in VA primary care settings
Adults5Clinician or patient
No recommendation provided
US Department of Veteran Affairs
PHQ-9Available in English, Spanish and many other languagesAny suspicion of depression; good practice for primary care screenings
18+ but has been used in children as young as 129PatientNo recommendation provided
PHQ Screeners
SNAP-IVChildren and adolescents (6-18 years old)To screen children and adolescents for ADHD6-18 years old18Teacher and parentNo recommendation providedSNAP-IV Teacher and Parent Rating Scale

Communication and Notifications

Alliance distributes information regarding screening programs on the Alliance website, community events, bulletins, notifications, and other methods as appropriate and available. Providers will be informed of the screening upon enrollment and at least annually thereafter. Changes to existing screening programs may be disseminated to the providers and practitioners by memo, updates, or newsletters distributed by the Network Operations Department. Changes may also be communicated during all-provider meetings and/or collaboratives or other ways, as appropriate.

For technical support regarding these screening instruments, please contact Alliance Health.

Feedback and Input

In addition to the Committee on Provider Quality, Alliance Health welcomes feedback and input from all stakeholders – including providers, practitioners, members, and caregivers.

Alliance Health also encourages providers and practitioners to share information regarding other tools they may use in practice to be considered by the committee for future updates. Stakeholders can provide feedback through our Access and Information Line at (800) 510-9132 or by emailing

Page last modified: September 25, 2020