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What is the STAR-MH?​

The STAR-MH is a brief and simple 9-item mental health screening tool developed for use by non mental health trained workers to identify likely PTSD and major depressive disorder in their asylum seeking or new refugee clients.


The STAR-MH was designed for rapid and efficient screening to expedite mental health referrals for forced migrants around the world at their agency or port of first presentation. It was developed by a psychiatrist and psychologist with extensive experience working with asylum seekers and new refugees for use by workers who come into contact with asylum seekers and refugees, including case workers, welfare workers, nurses, social workers, lawyers, bicultural workers, English language teachers, employment officers and housing workers.


Whilst not a diagnostic tool, the STAR-MH has a predictive accuracy of 81% in correctly screening in and out PTSD and/or major depressive disorder. The tool takes approximately 6 minutes to complete, with or without an interpreter and has been found to be culturally appropriate. More information about the development and psychometrics of the tool can be found here.


PDFs of the STAR-MH can be downloaded for use from this website by a range of workers to administer to their clients. Workers will need to register here to access the STAR-MH forms.


The eSTAR-MH is the electronic version of the STAR-MH developed to enable asylum seekers or new refugees to undertake the STAR-MH screening tool in their own language either in written or audio format, with their worker present.

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