TN PSQ a New Mental Health Resource for Health Professionals

February 5, 2020

A new online mental health resource is now available to address increased incidents of suicide, depression, burnout, and other mental health problems among Tennessee’s licensed health professionals.

The Tennessee Professional Screening Questionnaire, or TN PSQ, is available online as of February 3. It is targeted for health professions traditionally served by the Tennessee Medical Foundation Physician’s Health Program (TMF-PHP), including physicians (MDs and DOs), residents, interns and students, as well as physician assistants, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, x-ray technicians, clinical perfusionists and veterinarians, both licensed and in training.

This new statewide resource utilizes the Interactive Screening Program (ISP), an online tool created by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Initiated by the TMF in partnership with the TMA and other organizations like the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, Tennessee Hospital Association, and State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company, the TN PSQ is intended to help connect struggling physicians and other health professionals with available mental health resources in their area.

Proactive Approach
“As the number of mental health referrals began to rise, we saw the need to become more proactive in this area,” said TMF Medical Director Dr. Michael Baron. “The goal is to connect more people to the help they need, earlier in the process, hopefully before there’s a need for a TMF referral, intervention by employers, or licensing board action,” he added. 

“There are known barriers to getting help for mental health problems among doctors and other licensed health professionals,” said TMF Administrator Mike Todd. “Confidentiality and existing stigma over seeking help, fears of career implications, and the perceived time and cost involved are all factors that can stop them from reaching out when they probably need it the most,” he said.  

Key Principles
The TN PSQ is strictly a NON-crisis service, offering an anonymous, confidential online mental health screening that will result in referrals to appropriate mental health resources and optional interaction with a program therapist.

“This tool is totally anonymous, voluntary, and the outcome completely driven by the user,” Dr. Baron said, adding this should address some of the fears involved in asking for help with mental or emotional illness.

The tool is currently being shared in a phased rollout online and by various other means through the TMF, TMA, state licensing boards, THA, SVMIC, health professional organizations, medical schools, regional and specialty medical societies, and other partnering entities.

Questions?
For more information, contact Brenda Williams-Denbo, TMF Development coordinator, at 615-467-6411 or brendaw@e-tmf.org.

Take the Tennessee Professional Screening Questionnaire