About SS&A

The Staged Screening and Assessment process is being implemented across Ontario's publicly-funded addiction programs. The process has four parts (three screening tools and a First Stage Assessment - see below).

  1. The first stage screener, Global Appraisal of Individual Needs – Short Screener (GAIN-SS), quickly identifies possible mental health and substance use issues requiring further exploration.
  2. If the responses to the GAIN-SS raise concerns about potential mental health issues, the second stage screeners are used to gather more information. The screeners are the Modified Mini Screener (MMS) for adults, and the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teens (POSIT) for those 17 and under.
  3. The Global Appraisal of Individual Need Quick3 Motivational Interviewing Ontario (GAIN Q3 MI ONT) is a comprehensive assessment allowing the client to share their life circumstances across a broad range of areas, with a particular focus on substance use. This assessment and the auto-generated clinical reports provide a sound foundation for treatment planning and referral decisions.

Implementation Evaluation

After six years of SS&A implementation, PSSP engaged the substance use sector in a comprehensive evaluation to assess the implementation of the SS&A process across the sector. There were two primary objectives of this evaluation: 1) to assess the acceptability and utility of the staged screening and assessment process; and, 2) to explore potential adaptations or complements to the tool package that would encourage widespread adoption across the addiction sector.

A summary of overall findings are summarized below. Full results can be found in the full Implementation Evaluation Report, also provided below.


For more information, please contact us through the Staged Screening & Assessment email: ssa@camh.ca.

Please note, PSSP does not conduct or provide access to GAIN Q3 MI ONT assessments. If you are a client or service provider looking for this type of assessment, please contact your local addiction service provider. They will be able to share a list of agencies that may be able to provide a GAIN Q3 MI ONT assessment. You can find a list of addiction agencies at Connex Ontario at: https://www.connexontario.ca/search.