Poor mental health is an indication that you may have a mental problem that requires diagnosis and support from a professional mental health therapist. such as a psychiatrist or a family doctor.
Life is a lottery, and mental health problems are likely to stem from times of hardship which can cause feelings such as stress, anxiety, and depression. This can hurt your mental and general well-being.
These symptoms can get progressively worse to a point where they can impact your daily life activities. If this is the case, it is important that you seek support, and the right way to start is to complete a mental health assessment.
A mental health assessment comprises tests and questions, where you may be requested to fill out a form or be asked for answers verbally.
How Do I Prepare For A Mental Health Assessment?
It is important that you prepare yourself for a mental health assessment so that you’re able to express your problems to a professional. Although, you may naturally feel a certain way yet not understand what the problem is. This is something that can be talked through with a professional should you find it difficult to identify what’s wrong, and taking a mental health assessment is the safest option.
Typically, you’d be asked to identify the following:
- What mental health problems are you experiencing?
- What behaviours and emotions do the mental health problem impact?
- How do you feel daily?
- What do you think your symptoms of mental health problems are?
- How long have you had the symptoms?
- What are the causes of these symptoms?
Whilst a mental health assessment doesn’t have to be concrete, the objective is for a professional to gain as much information as possible for the appropriate diagnosis.
How Do I Know What My Mental Health Problem Is?
Naturally, you may be feeling depressed and anxious yet can’t quite pinpoint what the problem is. This is where preparing for a mental health assessment comes into play. Consult your professional for some tips before your assessment, but it is recommended that you try to identify the problems when you can.
Writing them down is a good starting point, or you may seek support from a companion to help you uncover them.
What Are The Different Types Of Mental Health Assessments?
Typically, there are three types of mental health assessment:
- Adult Assessment
- Child Assessment
- Geriatric Assessment
Each assessment will be typically carried out in the same way, with the breakdown explained below.
First and foremost, you will have an initial interview with your doctor (GP). The interview helps the professional to observe how you’re looking and feeling, before having confidential discussions with you on the mental health symptoms you may be experiencing. The professional will seek clues when you communicate to help uncover the symptoms, especially if it’s difficult for you to explain what they are.
The communication will also include understanding your personal and work history, including any traumatic events in the past you may have experienced. The questions should be answered as clearly as possible.
There may be physical causes that cause mental health problems. Again, it would make it easier (if possible) if you can explain any physical symptoms that you experience. This also includes any physical conditions and whether you take any prescriptive drugs.
Your doctor or professional may send the results to a laboratory for testing. These tests include a blood or urine test to determine if an external condition such as anaemia, thyroid, or B12 deficiency is causing it.
The professional may gauge your thinking abilities to assist you in recalling any events, traumas or triggers that are causing mental health problems. The idea behind this is a basic test to test your attention and memory.
Children may also get mental health assessments, with observations and tests being performed by a professional but with the child having support from an adult or parent. The professional will ask the companion as to what they perceive the child is going through, before conducting the required examinations. A pediatrician can help support this, but it is important that you seek a professional who specialises in managing child mental health.
Geriatric Mental Health Assessment
A geriatric mental health assessment is more geared towards seniors over the age of 60+ years. Senior individuals will be identified to see if they need an additional evaluation to detect cognitive impairments. Interviews and surveys of family and friends will be considered to help those who require mental health care. Other tools to be used will include:
- Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
- Mini-Cog Memory Test
- General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG)
- Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE)
These tools help support seniors who may be struggling with conditions such as dementia and cognitive decline.