Kiosk Mental Health Screenings at Philadelphia Supermarket


A first-of-its-kind interactive mental health screening kiosk labeled “Checkup. Checkout.” has been installed near a blood-pressure machine and express lanes in a ShopRite grocery store in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The kiosk, reports the Inquirer, “asks more than a dozen questions on seven themes (‘Feeling sad, empty, hopeless,’ ‘Concerned about my teen’) before giving a response (‘It is likely your child is depressed’).” The print-out, and a follow-up email, give users referrals to nearby mental health services, including to the retail health clinic next door to the ShopRite.

“The more you ask people about mental health problems, the more you find out about the prevalence of them,” Richard Bedrosian, a director of behavioral health for pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, told the Inquirer.

According to a press release from one of the funders, the Quaker-based Scattergood Foundation, “Wellness at Your Fingertips is a tablet based screening tool used to identify signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Bi-Polar Disorder and Alcohol misuse. The integration of this tool into a retail clinic will mark the first time in the United States that a retail clinic has begun comprehensive screening for mental health conditions.” Various non-profits and government mental health agencies designed and built the kiosk and will evaluate its impacts, says the press release.

The Inquirer article reports that one study found that 55 percent of the people whose online screening result suggested that they were at risk of depression sought treatment within three months.

Newest supermarket service: Mental health screenings (Philadelphia Inquirer, August 4, 2014)

Check Up, Check Out: ShopRite’s Guide to Wellness (Press Release from Scattergood Foundation, July 24, 2014)


  1. We can do better than that. Here at Silly Pharmaceuticals we are developing a mental health vending machine. You can put a blood or saliva sample in it and let it access wirelessly your facebook account, your browsing stats and smartphone health app data. It searches for biomarkers and behavioural signs for mental disorders and returns a diagnoses. You can also get the appropriate medication to improve your mental health from the vending machine. First tests show that the diagnose is not less reliable than the diagnose done by a mental health professional.

    If you think it is silly, you’re right, but we will make a fortune out of it anyway.

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  2. One of the problems with this is that the “mental health” industry does not have safe and effective treatments for their scientifically invalid disease entities like “Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Bi-Polar Disorder, and Alcohol misuse.” And the “treatments” they do have currently available, are known to cause the symptoms of these invalid disease entities. So rather than call their screening “Wellness at Your Fingertips,” they should be calling it, introduction to a lifetime of pharmaceutical drug induced iatrogenic illness at your fingertips. Shame on the corporate heads of Johnson & Johnson and ShopRite for their intentional harm of other human beings for profit – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Disease mongering is unethical and deplorable.

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  3. Disease mongering works.

    Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry’s marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors.

    Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.

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  4. An interesting and somewhat amusing collection of comments follows the first article linked to above at the Philadelphia Inquirer — perhaps some of our prolific MIA commentators would want to add their gems of insight…

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