What is a mental health assessment?
A mental health assessment or evaluation is a procedure in which a psychologist or psychiatrist gathers information about the patient via tests and interviews, in order to evaluate functioning and abilities in specific areas and to predict future behaviour.
What does it involve?
The psychological evaluation is carried out by means of: interviews, psychometric tests, recordings and observations.
- Interview and psychometric tests: information about different aspects of the patient’s life is gathered, by analysing not only the data obtained from the interview but also the patient’s attitude (how they talk, their tone, the sequence of their speech, and so on).
There are two types of interview, depending on the outcome sought at this stage:
- Structured: a battery of questions with a set of closed answers.
- Unstructured: characterized by use of open questions that allow the person to speak more.
- Recordings and observations: the data obtained from questions posed by the psychologist during the interview. The recordings are the tools used by the professional to gather information. This is useful for preparing the psychotherapy intervention.
Why is it done?
It is done to allow the patient to achieve a better understanding of themselves, promoting their decision-making in relation to their professional, family, social and love life.
It is recommended that you attend a session with the psychologist before the evaluation session itself, in order to make a first contact.
What will I feel during the evaluation?
Given that very personal subjects are addressed, you may experience negative emotions during the course of the psychological evaluation.
Significance of results
The psychologist will use the results of the evaluation, which vary from person to person, to choose the best treatment for you.