Online Mental Health Self-Assessment for Veterans

Project Overview

Insight partnered with Cooper University Health Care System and the New Jersey Department of Health on a study to improve outreach and broaden access to care for veterans residing in southern New Jersey. Insight led the development of a self-assessment tool in the form of a web survey designed to ascertain veterans’ need for mental or behavioral health services and connect veterans in need of those services to professional healthcare. Veterans who participated in the self-assessment would be notified if their survey scores put them at moderate or severe risk for depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and/or substance abuse.

Data collected through the self-assessment informed southern New Jersey healthcare providers about the health needs of veterans in the region. The survey gathered data on veterans’ mental health and general health and identified physical, emotional, and social barriers to seeking care. Insight managed all data collection for this project, developed the online survey, designed the online consent process for institutional review board approval, generated weekly data collection frequency reports, and provided other analytical support.

This study was premised on the hypothesis that veterans who participated in the survey would be at risk for a serious mental health disorder and possibly not receiving needed treatment. The study addressed whether any of the following factors prevented veterans in need of mental health services from seeking treatment:

  • Fear of job discrimination
  • Fear of being perceived negatively by others
  • Fear of adverse medical reactions
  • Perceived ineffectiveness of mental health treatment
  • Other concerns

The study also addressed whether there were statistically significant associations between survey participants’ perceptions about career discrimination and their preferences regarding healthcare providers.


Online survey, institutional review board protocol (2016), weekly frequency reports