At any given time, 1 in 5 people are struggling with some form of mental health problem or illness – this is regardless of age, gender, religion, culture, education, or even income level. Mental illness truly affects each and every one of us, whether directly or indirectly.
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with mental health, it’s important to seek help.
It can be intimidating to know where to go or how to start – we believe that one of the best ways to get started is by getting a mental health assessment.
What Is A Mental Health Assessment?
A mental health assessment typically involves a medical professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or even your family doctor, performing a variety of mental and physical evaluations to determine if you are struggling with a mental health issue.
These evaluations are often a combination of subjects. They involve verbal and written questions regarding:
- Your mental health – your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours,
- Your cognitive health – your ability to think, use reasoning, and recall information, and
- Your history – regarding your physical and mental health records as well as more personal aspects such as relationships, childhood, education, and employment.
They also include physical exams, typically a variety of lab tests – such as blood-work, urine samples, or brain scans – to rule out the possibility of underlying physical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
What Benefits Can They Offer Me?
- It Can Help Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
As with any physical illness, before understanding how to cure it you must first know what the problem is – it is the same with mental illness. An assessment will help both you and your doctor understand your strengths and weaknesses and where the root of the problem lies.
Not only will it help you understand how or why you are struggling, but knowing where you are strong can be advantageous to your healing. Many professionals employed in the mental health sector of healthcare strongly support the more recent introduction to strength-based approach to mental healing.
An assessment can make this type of approach to recovery possible.
- It Will Help You and Your Therapist Build A Treatment Plan
Once you and your doctor have broken down where the issues lie, you can begin to work together to build a treatment plan.
Your treatment plan should, in it’s basic form, outline the problem you are facing, describe the medication or treatment being used to try and combat it, set a projected timeline for progress, and identify the treatments goals while taking note of important milestones.
A plan will help you and your doctor stay organized and on the same page, and will give you a good point for discussions regarding your thoughts on the treatment, the progress, and potential alternatives.
Where Can I Get One?
To start, you can take a quick and simple online assessment, such as this one offered by Psychology Today – these assessments are basic and are only meant to help you determine if you should seek aid from a professional.
If your assessment suggests that you should seek professional help, your next step is to speak with your family doctor or a local psychologist or psychiatrist, and schedule a full assessment.
Put your mental health first before it’s too late – speak with a professional today about how a mental health assessment can benefit you.