In order to bring about implementation of routine screening for psychosis risk, a brief version of the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ; Loewy et al., 2005) was developed and tested in a general help-seeking population. We assessed a consecutive patient sample of 3533 young adults who were help-seeking for nonpsychotic disorders at the secondary mental health services in the Hague with the PQ. We performed logistic regression analyses and CHi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector decision tree analysis to shorten the original 92 items. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to examine the psychometric properties of the PQ-16. In the general help-seeking population, a cutoff score of 6 or more positively answered items on the 16-item version of the PQ produced correct classification of Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State (Yung et al., 2005) psychosis risk/clinical psychosis in 44% of the cases, distinguishing Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) diagnosis from no CAARMS diagnosis with high sensitivity (87%) and specificity (87%). These results were comparable to the PQ-92. The PQ-16 is a good self-report screen for use in secondary mental health care services to select subjects for interviewing for psychosis risk. The low number of items makes it quite appropriate for screening large help-seeking populations, thus enhancing the feasibility of detection and treatment of ultra high-risk patients in routine mental health services. © The Author 2012.