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An Overview of the Mental Health Assessment

Mental health assessment is conceived only through a series of tedious processes that will help identify all necessary details of the mental wellness of the person leading to a conclusive judgment. It is a common knowledge among practitioners of mental health care providers that a mental health assessment could only be conceived if all information relating to the disorder could be gathered. Diagnosis may take a few minutes but arriving at a conclusion is possible only after a certain period of case study.

Fleshing out the details is necessary to arrive at an accurate result- may it be diagnosis or prognosis. But this could only be achieved by paying attention to small details that could uncover underlying symptoms, when developments of symptoms are well-recorded and when the mental state of the patient is strictly monitored. A psychiatric assessment is built on careful attention to details associated with the person including medical history, upbringing and environment, experiences such as childhood traumas along with others. If not done properly, the doctor may fail to see crucial details that could affect the result of the evaluation.

Apart from what has been listed above, a psychiatric assessment could also include evaluation on presented behavior, manner of thinking, mood, capacity to reason out and to express oneself and memory. Routine medical assessment such as blood test, urine test, and other laboratory tests are also included.


Health assessment such as this requires prior groundwork. Symptoms of a disorder must be clearly recorded in a diary or journal. This helps keep track of the symptoms that may be a sign of improvement or of worsening the case. This would give the psychiatrist or the doctor a clearer picture of the mental health illness. If the patient is a child, the parent should see to it that the preparation of the journal is carefully supervised or that the parent should also make a separate journal to keep a detailed history of observations.

If already diagnosed and given medications for the control of symptoms, alterations of behavior or symptoms should also be recorded.


Nearly all psychiatric assessment require interview. Mental health illnesses normally lack in the presentation of observable symptoms. This is why talk is highly valuable in psychoanalytical and behavioral assessment of a patient.

A series of interviews gives the doctor a better look at the information that a patient could present. This offers the chance to gather information, clarify ambiguous details and to refute any established impressions.

There are three types of questions used during a psychiatric interview-

a) close questions
b) open questions
c) choice questions

Interviews are not only valuable because they clearly open opportunities for gathering information; it is also the opportunity for the patient to tell his or her story. Talk is beneficial as it allows usually terrifying thoughts to be voiced out.

Physical Examination

Neurological and cardiovascular examinations are the most commonly used physical examination for the assessment of mental health. The choice of examination is influenced mainly by factors such as the age of the person, concurrent disorders, planned medical treatment, concurrent medications and substance use or dependency.

Summary of the Findings

Plain examination and evaluation of a patient would not give reliable information for managing his or her mental health. A conclusive summary of all findings and accompanying recommendations for treatments and therapies would help prepare the person for recovery.


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