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Depression Screening Tools

Online and downloadable versions

While diagnosing and treating depression are outside of WIC's scope, WIC’s nutrition assessment process and referral services lend themselves well to identifying and linking women with or at risk of depression to appropriate services.

As noted in WIC Guidance for Screening and Referring Women With or at Risk for Depression, there are simple and effective screening tools that can be incorporated into the WIC nutrition assessment process. Examples of highly sensitive screening tools noted in this guidance include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (permission required to copy), Postpartum Depression Screening Scale, and Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ).

An online version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and PHQ-9, the nine-item depression module from the full PHQ, are available with automatic scoring.

PHQ-9 in multiple languages is also available online for downloading, with instructions for coding and scoring.

*These tools are self-administered versions, and are not diagnostic tests. WIC staff may use them to help identify women who may need referrals for appropriate services. Only direct, personal interaction with a mental health professional can provide an accurate assessment of symptoms.


Resources for individuals in need of assistance (emergent or otherwise) can be found via the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, the Mental Health America's Finding Therapy page, and at MentalHealth.gov (including suicide prevention and a veterans’ crisis line).

Also available is a guide to help families who have a loved one who is suicidal or has made a suicide attempt. It provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs and action steps to take, and how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.

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