A mental health assessment
gives your doctor an overall picture of how well you feel emotionally and how
well you are able to think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). Your
doctor will ask you questions and examine you. You might answer some of the
doctor's questions in writing. Your doctor will pay attention to how you look
and your mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory, and ability to express
yourself. Your doctor will also ask questions about how you get along with
other people, including your family and friends. Sometimes the assessment
includes lab tests, such as blood or urine tests.
Kris Oser, 37, of Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is an email fiend. A single mother and director of communications for a market research company, she has to be immediately accessible to executives and the news media.
That means Oser is often on the phone and messaging several people at the same time -- and that can lead to trouble. In one recent gaffe, she mistakenly emailed a reporter at The Wall Street Journal instead of her best friend, asking her to pick up Oser’s daughter from school.
the mental health of a person who has been hospitalized or arrested
for a crime, such as drunken driving or physical abuse.
How To Prepare
If you are having a mental health
assessment because you have specific symptoms, you may be asked to keep a diary
or journal for a few days before your appointment. For some assessments, you may be asked to bring a family member or friend
with you, someone who can describe your symptoms from their view.
If your child is being
checked for behavior problems, you may be asked to keep a diary or journal of
how he or she acts for a couple of days. Your child's teacher may need to
answer questions about how your child acts at school.