SOS High School Suicide Prevention Program

Scoring Instructions and Interpretation for Students:  (Student Screening Format the bottom of page)

The Brief Screen for Adolescent Depression (BSAD) is a depression screening tool for teens and adolescents. It cannot tell you for sure if you suffer from depression, but it can tell you whether or not you should see a health care professional (medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, counselor or social worker) for a follow-up evaluation.

To calculate your score on the BSAD, add up the number of “YES” answers to the 7 questions on the scale. The following guidelines are estimates of the likelihood that you may be clinically depressed:

0-2 If you scored 2 or lower (two or fewer “YES” answers), it is unlikely that you are clinically depressed.*

3 If you scored 3 (three “YES” answers), you may be clinically depressed, and you might benefit from further screening by a mental health professional.*

4 or higher If you scored 4 (four or more “YES” answers), it is likely that you are clinically depressed. You probably have some significant symptoms of depression and would benefit from talking to a mental health professional about these feelings.*

Questions 4 and 5 These questions are about suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. If you answered “YES” to either of these questions, it is strongly recommended that you see a mental health professional for further evaluation, regardless of your score.

There are additional questions listed at the bottom of the screening form that ask about your
alcohol use, as it may relate to depression and suicide. To understand your answers to the additional questions regarding alcohol use, please read the interpretation listed below.

If you scored “YES” to Questions a and b concerning alcohol use, you may be using alcohol in a way that is dangerous to your health and also increasing your risk for suicide.  You might benefit from talking with a health professional.*


Your score does NOT say you should talk with a health professional.

 If you ever have feelings of sadness that won’t go away and nothing will cheer you up, you should talk to a health care professional or another adult you trust in order to figure out what you should do to get professional help

Your score says you should talk with a health professional.

 Talk to your parents or guardians as well as the school counselor or nurse (or other person your school has designated for you to speak with)  about your score.

 If you are uncomfortable with these options, talk to another adult you trust and respect, tell him or her that you are concerned about your score and ask him or her to help your.  If it makes you feel more comfortable, bring a friend with you.

You are concerned about a friend.

 If you are ever concerned about these feelings in a friend, offer to go with your friend to speak with a health professional or an adult about his or her feelings.

 If your friend refuses, confide in a trusted adult or health professional who may assist you in getting your friend the help he or she needs.

Bottom Line:   It is important to take the results of this screening seriously and use it as a motivation to get help for yourself or a friend. You and your friend deserve to feel better, and help and support are available to you!

Grant Harris,
Jul 18, 2011, 1:49 PM