Now and Then: Universal Mental Health Screening for the 21st Century


By Dr. Gerald Hurowitz, MD

WhatsMyM3 Chief Medical Officer


If current trends continue primary care practices across the US will soon be screening for mental illness on a universal basis. The rationale for such screening has existed for some time: it is well-established that mental illness worsens the course and interferes with the effective treatment of physical illnesses of virtually every type, acute and chronic. Treating these mental disorders effectively will save money and improve healthcare for all. Yet, for years screening strategies have languished in the US healthcare system. Now is the time of reckoning: for every day without such screening, avoidable costs are added to our growing healthcare bill.

Why has this not happened already? The answer resides in the nuances, the variability and interchangeability, of mood and anxiety disorders. Numerous studies have demonstrated that depression, the prototypical mental disorder of our age, is easy enough to screen for. But, the single-minded determination to focus on depression screening misses the big picture, and thereby creates other problems. Here’s why. Overlapping with depression are the even more common anxiety disorders, and overlapping with both of these conditions are the bipolar disorders. While bipolar disorder is less common than ordinary depression and anxiety, its mistreatment – naturally more likely when it is misdiagnosed – creates tremendous pain, suffering, and unnecessary healthcare costs. These big three – depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder – will often express symptoms that overlap and that change, both with and without treatment, as the conditions progress. It is not unusual to find these diagnoses co-existing in the same individual. A once-a-year screen for depression fails, in many cases, to capture and encompass mood and anxiety disorders as they present in the real world.

Clinicians in their office practices do not yearn for a screen that merely finds cases of depression. When offered such screens, the practices that do use them generally do so in a perfunctory way. Rather, what doctors need is a tool that helps to distinguish between cases of ordinary depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. And at yet another level of complexity, clinicians also want to be able to grasp how alcohol and substance use contribute to their patients’ mood symptoms. Looked at piecemeal, the various behavioral disorders doctors confront cannot be properly framed and managed. It is not depression OR anxiety OR alcohol abuse that is the problem in most cases. It is, rather, a hodgepodge of emotional turmoil, irritability, passivity, obstinacy, and chaos that primary care must deal with in many such patients.  A simple, static, annual screen for depression just does not cut it.


What’s Next?

Holistic, multi-dimensional, and adapted to longitudinal monitoring, a mental health screen for the 21st century must capture the behavioral disorders as they evolve in all of their myriad presentations. The M3 was designed to address exactly these demands. A computer interfacing, self-rated 27-item questionnaire that can be completed in less than 3 minutes, the M3 finds cases of depression, anxiety, PTSD and bipolar disorders. At the same time, it surveys patients’ alcohol and substance misuse patterns, as well as functional impairment, all in the context of their ongoing mood and anxiety symptoms. Most importantly, it enables progress to be monitored and provides vital, graphically intuitive feedback to the treatment team. With such valuable feedback, the M3 has the potential to improve the quality of care through repeated use.

The M3 checklist is accessible through numerous channels: on the web at, at the physician’s office at, and on any smart phone via the WhatsmyM3 app. This accessibility means that individuals may screen themselves, but also track and follow their response to treatment, whether psychotherapy or medication, over time.

Primary care has a formidable task as it takes over more and more of the treatment of these disorders. The training of our healthcare providers must be fostered and the success or failure of such training must be measurable.  Again, an annual depression-only screen will never provide the sort of measurable, real time feedback that would help in this important endeavor. Screening, monitoring and clinical support via the M3Clinician’s cloud based software can provide what is needed to measure, support, and improve the management skills of the primary care office. The M3 is a mental health instrument for the 21st century.

Send this to friend


*By downloading the Insight, The Art of Tweeting you are also joining our newsletter.

Power Your Brand
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
* By downloading our insights, you are also joining our newsletter.
Power Your Brand
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
* By downloading our insights, you are also joining our newsletter.
Power Your Brand
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
* By downloading our insights, you are also joining our newsletter.
Power Your Brand
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
* By downloading our insights, you are also joining our newsletter.
Start Making Headlines Today!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
* By getting the discount code, you are also joining our newsletter.
Sign up to receive 25% off
your first news release
distribution through PR Web.
Our phones are temporarily unavailable. Yes we paid the bill, no it's not the Russians. To contact us,please send
an email to
Phones Temporarily Down
Call Us Today:
Social media
Call Us Today:
Get our crisis management toolkit delivered to your inbox now

    Jonathan Balog
    Chief Communications Officer,
    Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake
    On The Marc Media has been instrumental in helping Goodwill elevate our mission and programs to new heights. Their exceptional work in recently launching our new adult high school in Baltimore stands as a testament to their unparalleled expertise in public relations. They didn't just secure interviews; they opened doors to influential national, local, trade, and podcast platforms, ensuring our message resonated far and wide. Their deep understanding of our mission, strategic PR approach, and storytelling is an enormous asset. Their team is responsive, creative and quick to adapt to changing circumstances. I’d wholeheartedly recommend them to any organization seeking a dedicated, results-driven PR partner.
    Kenny Kelley
    Founder, Silent Beacon
    As the founder of Silent Beacon, I've had the privilege of working with numerous partners and teams, but my experience with On The Marc Media has been unparalleled From the moment we began, it was clear that they were not just another PR firm; they were a group of passionate storytellers ready to dive deep into the essence of our business. Understanding the intricacies of a product like Silent Beacon is no small feat, yet the team at On The Marc Media grasped our mission and functionality faster than I could have ever expected. Their ability to digest complex information and turn it into compelling narratives is simply astounding. But what's most impressive is how they've managed to get our story in front of the right eyes. The news hits we've received have been spot-on, aligning perfectly with our target audience and business goals. It's clear they have a robust network and know exactly how to leverage it to benefit their clients. I can say, without a doubt, that On The Marc Media has been instrumental in amplifying our brand and propelling our business forward. Their expertise in public relations is evident in the quality and quantity of attention Silent Beacon has received. If you're looking for a PR team that will take the time to understand your business, craft a tailored strategy, and deliver exceptional results, look no further than On The Marc Media.
    Greg Maybaum
    Founder, Greg Maybaum Real Estate Closings
    I’ve been a pioneer and innovator among New York City closing attorneys for 35 years, but my branding needed a skillful refresh to reflect my experience, and I needed someone to transform my website into a tool that would help me prequalify prospects so I could make better use of my time serving upscale clients. On The Marc Media did an amazing job for me on both of those objectives. They reinvented my brand and created a style guide to ensure that my positioning, messaging and graphic design remains consistent going forward. And they not only changed the look and functionality of my website, they turned it into a semi-automated sales funnel that includes a detailed questionnaire that enables me to instantly understand the goals of each prospective client. On The Marc Media really cares. They have the marketing expertise to deliver incredible results and they’re continually evaluating their strategy to see where greater opportunities might exist. I highly recommend working with this team!
    Kimberly Wehle
    Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law
    Pro-active, media savvy, and extremely knowledgeable, On The Marc Media knows their stuff when it comes to PR. I’d heard that they were well connected and one of the best in the business. And after working with them, I can attest to that. Their team landed me dozens of media interviews, including several national appearances in record time.
    Dr. Dale Isaacson
    Doctor, DC Derm Docs
    As specialists in both cosmetic and general medical dermatology, we’ve devoted our practice to helping clients get the healthy body and appearance they need to lead happy lives. We’re also a business that needs expert marketing to let potential clients know we’re here to help them. On The Marc Media built a fantastic social media presence for us on all the right platforms and provided lots of sticky, eye-catching content to grow our following. They got us high-profile coverage in TV, print and online media. And they transformed our website from a static brochure to a business-boosting lead generator. They’ve also helped us use email marketing to keep our expertise and new treatments top-of-mind with prospective and existing clients. If you want your social media and marketing to glow like our clients’ faces, reach out to On The Marc Media!
    Diana Pohlman
    Founder, P.A.N.D.A.S. Network
    On The Marc Media helped us craft a compelling story and acquire critical media coverage that has exponentially raised awareness about P.A.N.D.A.S. across the nation. Their dedicated and professional team will bend over backwards to tell your story and make sure it is heard. Above all else, On The Marc Media shared our compassion and passion for the P.A.N.D.A.S. cause, which made them feel like real partners with a genuine desire to achieve our goals with us.
    Jason Smolen
    Co-Founding Principal, SmolenPlevy
    Marc Silverstein and On The Marc Media have ably represented SmolenPlevy these past years. The firm's needs are diverse ranging from marketing to public relations. Marc consistently develops a solution that is right for the target audience and within budget, assisting our firm in getting out the news of its reputation as a go-to law firm. Marc is highly regarded and highly recommended.
    Laurie Brunner
    Mainstream Management, LLC
    On The Marc Media has helped us entirely rebrand our business with market research and an integrated communications strategy. They've also increased our social media following on Facebook by 405% in just 6 months. On The Marc Media's hands-on approach sets them apart from other public relations and marketing companies, as they consistently go above and beyond to serve our needs—and in every instance have exceeded our objectives. They are true partners with my company, and we consider them a valuable extension of our team.
    Robin Wiener
    President & Founding Partner, Get Real Health
    We've been a proud client of On The Marc Media since 2011. They are a one-of-a-kind PR company. The OTMM team has a great balance of experience in front of the camera and behind it, and are a powerhouse as it relates to social media. We've seen all our marketing objectives and goals met because of our collaboration with OTMM. I would highly recommend them anytime, anyplace!
    VP of Communications, Dedalus Healthcare
    I cannot speak highly enough of On The Marc Media's exceptional partnership with Dedalus Healthcare. Their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to our success have been instrumental in our journey. On The Marc Media not only understood our business goals but also helped us design a comprehensive strategy that perfectly aligned with our objectives.

    Their ability to adapt and remain nimble in a constantly changing landscape has been a game-changer for us. From social media management to media pitching, they have consistently demonstrated their expertise and determination to deliver real results. On The Marc Media truly embodies the essence of a trusted partner.