Screening and assessment





Harvard trauma questionnaire

View information and ordering instructions for the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, a checklist available in English, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Japanese, Croatian and Bosnian that inquiries about emotional symptoms considered to be associated with trauma.

Mental health instruments in non-English languages

View this list, produced by the Victoria Transcultural Psychiatry Unit, of mental health instruments available in non-English.

PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5)

View information and download The PCL-5 a screening tool, created by the Veteran Affairs National Center for PTSD that is used to screen for PTSD, make a provisional PTSD diagnosis, and monitor symptoms changes.

The patient health questionnaire

View this commonly-used depression screening tool that is available in multiple languages.

The refugee health screener-15

View this resource for background information, guidelines for use, and a link The Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS-15) Packet. This is a tool that can be used to screen refugees for emotional stress and mental health.





Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: General approach in primary care

Read this article that outlines some of the risk factors associated with the assessment common mental health problems for immigrants. The study finds that there are three categories to consider when assessing refugee populations; pre-migration, migration and post-migration. 

Compassionate listening: managing psychological trauma in refugees

Read this article that discusses how refugee survivors of trauma may present to the general practitioner and gives an approach to psychological assessment and management.

Depression: evidence review for newly arriving immigrants and refugees

Read this article, produced for The Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CCIRH), that reviews evidence to improve the primary care detection and treatment of major depressive disorder among immigrants and refugees during their first five years of resettlement. It suggests that systematic screening can improve the outcome for depression when integrated treatment is made available.

Examining asylum seekers: a health professionals guide to medical and psychological evaluations of torture

Read this report, developed by Physicians for Human Rights, discusses general interview considerations, physical and psychological evidence of torture, children and torture, and written reports and oral testimony.

PTSD: evidence review for newly arriving immigrants and refugees

Read this article, produced for The Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health that is based on a systematic assessment that outlines the key considerations for primary care practitioners when supporting refugees who have had exposure to traumatic events.

The cross-cultural validity of PTSD – implications for DSM 5

Review this article that examines various types of cross-cultural validity in the PTSD criteria as defined in DSM-IV-TR and presents options and preliminary recommendations to be considered for DSM-5.

Urgent need for validated trauma and mental health screening tools for refugee children and youth

Read this recently published article that emphasizes the need for early detection and intervention of mental health problems using a comprehensive and scientifically sound approach.



Working with interpreters


Asylum 4: Working with interpreters

View this article that describes issues for consideration and outlines guidelines for working with interpreters and refugee populations.

Interpreting in a refugee context

View this self-study module, developed by the UNHCR’s Division of International Protection Services that focuses on interpreting in the context of forced displacement. 

Providing Care for Newcomers: Using Interpreters
Read this guide, developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, for health care professionals working with migrant and refugee children and youth who require interpretation services.

Toolkit quick links

Toolkit Quick Links





Determinants of refugee mental health

Health promotion and prevention 

Screening and assessment


Policies and procedures