How Are Mental Health Assessments Performed?

Posted on: 28 June 2021


Mental health care is important for people who suffer from mental illnesses. Unfortunately, mental illnesses can be difficult to diagnose since symptoms are often difficult to observe. Self-reported assessments are the most reliable way for counselors to make initial diagnoses of patients' mental states. Mental health assessments can be conducted verbally by counselors. Patients can also complete assessments on their own by filling out provided forms with their honest experiences. Here are four things that will be considered during a mental health assessment:

1. Low Mood

Low mood is a symptom of depression. People with depression often feel sad without any noticeable cause. Unlike normal sadness, which can dissipate in short order, depressive symptoms can linger for weeks or months. When you take a mental health assessment, you will be asked if you experience feelings of sadness and hopelessness. You will be asked to rank how severe these feelings are and to indicate how often you experience these low moods.

2. Anxious Feelings

Anxiety is another symptom of mental illness. A normal amount of stress and worry can keep people out of dangerous situations. However, excessive amounts of these feelings can cause unhealthy decision paralysis. Anxiety can keep people from doing things they enjoy. It can create social isolation that can lead to depression and other unwanted side effects. Mental health assessments ask patients questions about their anxiety. Patients should be completely honest about the type and frequency of anxiety that they feel. Honest answers will help counselors better help patients.

3. Ability To Complete Tasks

Everyone has responsibilities to accomplish. Mental illnesses can make accomplishing even basic tasks more difficult. If you find yourself struggling to focus on your work or lacking the energy to get things done, those symptoms could indicate an underlying mental problem. Mental health assessments ask patients how well they're able to perform in their personal and professional lives. Patients are asked how often they have trouble completing all the tasks that are required of them.

4. Sleep Quality

Sleep quality can be a good indicator of a person's overall mental health. Good sleep is necessary for physical and mental welfare. Unfortunately, many common mental illnesses can cause sleep disorders. People with depression may sleep too much but still wake up tired. It's common for people with anxiety to be unable to sleep due to their overactive minds. A mental health assessment will ask patients how well they sleep and how much they sleep on average.

To learn more about mental health assessments, contact a local mental health professional.