The HEADS-ED is a tool that enables physicians to take a psychosocial history which aids in decisions regarding patient disposition.


Seven variables are incorporated into the use of the HEADS-ED tool:

  1. Home
  2. Education
  3. Activities and peers
  4. Drugs and alcohol
  5. Suicidality
  6. Emotions, behaviours, thought disturbance
  7. Discharge resources

These psychosocial items are used to classify patients into:

  • (0) No action needed
  • (1) Needs action but not immediate
  • (2) Needs immediate action


The HEADS-ED is a validated interview tool that makes it easy for physicians to identify children/youth with mental health issues, as well as find local help and resources.


For more information on the HEADS-ED tool and research, access the HEADS-ED abstract here.

The HEADS-ED was created by Dr. Mario Cappelli and the HEADS-ED development team: Heather Bragg, Paula Cloutier, Guy Doucet, Elizabeth Glennie, Dr. Clare Gray, Dr. Mona Jabbour, Dr. John Lyons, and Dr. Roger Zemek.
Using this website, you can learn more about the HEADS-ED, and how it can be used in your practice.
Try out our free, online HEADS-ED tool. Using the online HEADS-ED, you can fill out the online questionnaire and use the tool to recommend local services in your area, from the eMentalHealth.ca resource directory (this feature currently available in the Ottawa-Carleton region only).
Click here to download a PDF copy of the HEADS-ED tool.
eMentalHealth.ca Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario University of Ottawa CHEO Research Institute
© 2017 HEADS ED
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