An Introduction to HEEADSSS Assessment

Estimated Duration: 
6 hours

Kia Ora and Welcome to this online Introduction to the HEEADSSS (Home, Education, Eating, Activities, Drugs and Alcohol, Suicide and Depression, Sexuality and Safety) Assessment. This material is specifically designed to introduce you to the Youth Health and Development context and the HEEADSSS Assessment Framework. 

It is expected the course will take approximately 4 - 6 hours to complete. You will be able to log in and out of the material to suit your schedule,  however it is important to remember that if you input to the sections that ask you to list your thoughts you do need to click the 'continue' button to ensure your work is saved. There is a variety of material available for you through this course – including links to many resources  you can refer to at a later date.


Below is a short clip of Maria Kekus, Chair of the Society of Youth Health Professionals Aotearoa New Zealand (SYPHANZ) who will introduce the module. 


Key Points/Summary:

  • Adolescence is an important developmental phase that captures the transition from childhood to adulthood.
  •  This short course provides an introduction to the HEEADSSS assessment framework which is well known in youth health, both locally and internationally.
  •  The HEEADSSS framework allows for early identification of mental health, Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) issues and other information to assist young people in their development.
  • The module is funded by the Ministry of Health and as part of the Prime Ministers Youth Mental Health Initiative.
  • View the video clips as you navigate the module and print and explore the resources for review later.


Following the course you will find a short quiz designed to help consolidate your learning. When you complete the quiz please hit the 'submit' button to receive your certificate. This course provides 6 MOPs points or 6 hours of CPD.

On completion of this module, if you would like to see a current listing of Werry Centre training events and additional resources please visit their website.


The module content has been developed by the HEEADSSS project Expert Advisory Group for the Werry Centre for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Workforce Development. It has been piloted with Primary Care professionals and developed further as a result of that. Key contributors have been the Centre for Youth Health, Kidz First, CMDHB, and Youth Health – A Resource Manual, MOH, DHBNZ, The Collaborative, Caah, Transcultural Mental Health Centre. 2011 and the Youth Justice Health Assessment Course by the Ministry of Social Development. This course has been created by the Goodfellow Unit at The University of Auckland.


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(If you are not already a Goodfellow member click the Register button. It takes less than a minute and is completely free)