The purpose of the YMHL scale is to measure young people’s knowledge of mental health, help seeking and recovery. This scale is a best fit for children and/or adolescents of parents with a mental illness as it includes family crisis questions.

This subscales include: 1) knowledge of mental illness conditions, 2) recovery behaviors/strategies, 3) stigma, 4) help seeking, and 5) responding to mental health crises among family members and friends.

Currently we have 83 questions on the first full draft; we expect it to be reduced to about 50 questions or less when the psychometrics are completed this month (July, 2019). Questions are formatted in a multiple choice three item response set.

Three key stages were undertaken to develop the items in the YMHL scale:

First stage: Expert and stakeholder surveys. They included experts in parental mental illness, parents of people with a mental illness, children of a parent with a mental illness, and mental health professionals. Reference: Grove, C. J., Riebschleger, J., Bosch, A., & C. van der Ende, P. (2017). Expert views of children’s knowledge needs regarding parental mental illness. Children and Youth Services Review, 79, 249-255.

Second stage: Extensive and thorough systematic review of the literature also identified constructs that are important for mental health literacy. Reference: Riebschleger, J., Grove, C. J., Cavanaugh, D., & Costello, S. C. (2017). Mental health literacy content for children of parents with a mental illness: Thematic analysis of a literature review. Brain Sciences, 7(11), 1-19. [141].

Third and final stage: Final validation of items in scale: Riebschleger, J., Grove, C., Costello, S., & Cavanaugh. (2019, paper to be submitted Aug). Development and validation of the Youth Mental Health Literacy (YMHL) scale. 

The reading level is  5.1 or fifth grade, 1st month of school. In the U.S.A. this is usually a 9-10 year old student.

If you would like to use the scale read our copyright information and contact us! We’d love to hear from you.