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What to Expect During a Full Mental Health Assessment


Mental health evaluations or psych evaluations allow mental health professionals to diagnose mental health disorders and determine the level of treatment the individual requires. If you or a loved one is showing signs and symptoms of a mental illness, your next step would be to confirm whether one is present, the disorder, and the best route for treatment. If you’re not sure what to expect during a full mental health assessment, our Pompano Beach treatment center is sharing more on this procedure, how it works, and its benefits. 

What Is a Mental Health Evaluation? 

A mental health evaluation is a procedure in which a doctor, counselor, psychologist, or other licensed medical professional identifies and analyzes an individual’s symptoms and medical history to determine whether they have a mental health disorder. A psych evaluation is designed to draw a picture of how the person feels, reasons, thinks, remembers, and why. Through a series of questions and tests, a medical professional can diagnose several mental health disorders, offering the individual a step in the direction of getting help.  

Mental health evaluations help diagnose disorders like:  

  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Depression and mood disorders 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders 
  • Substance abuse and addictive disorders 

In addition to diagnosing a mental health disorder, a psych evaluation can also help determine whether the individual has a co-occurring substance use disorder. Mental health evaluations can also help to rule out any physical cause of the person’s symptoms, such as thyroid disease.  

While possibly discovering that you have a mental illness can be nerve-wracking (understandably so,) there’s no reason to be nervous about a mental health evaluation. As a Florida mental health rehab that performs mental health evaluations to determine the best form of treatment for clients, we can assure you that these clinical assessments are conducted by medical professionals with years of experience. These are calm assessments conducted in a safe and comfortable environment.  

Common types of mental health professionals include:  

  • Licensed clinical social workers with master’s degrees and training in mental health. They don’t prescribe medication but work with providers that do. 
  • Licensed professional counselors who have master’s degrees and offer counseling sessions. They can’t prescribe medication but work with providers that do. 
  • Psychiatrists who diagnose and treat mental health disorders. They can prescribe medication. 
  • Psychologists who have doctoral degrees but not medical degrees. They can diagnose and treat disorders, but they cannot prescribe medication. Some, however, have a special license to do so. 

What Happens During a Psych Evaluation? 

During a psychiatric evaluation, the individual will be:  

  • Asked various questions about their symptoms 
  • Undergo a variety of physical exams 
  • Sign consent and authorization forms 
  • Receive education about suicide and violence risks 
  • Talk about treatment options 

Suicide and violence risk assessments are typical in a full mental health assessment. This is usually one of the very first things professionals address to determine whether the individual needs immediate help or treatment. The professional will have to determine if the person seeking help is endangering themselves or others. Doctors may ask questions, observe the individual, and use their expertise to gauge this.  

Authorization and consent forms are other common aspects of healthcare, in general. Before the evaluation can take place, mental health professionals will ask the individual for any necessary signed consent or authorization forms. These allow them access to your medical records, medical history, and other information to diagnose you. There are also consent forms that offer doctors and loved ones certain permission on what they can’t and can’t have access to.  

Mental health professionals are also likely to ask detailed questions in an interview and written questionnaire style to gauge the individual’s symptoms, behavior, and more. Common questions asked during a psych evaluation include:  

  • What words would you use to describe yourself? 
  • How many siblings do you have? 
  • What is/was your relationship with your parents like? 
  • Are you currently on any medications for a mental illness? 
  • Have you had any previous psychiatric evaluations? If so, how many? 
  • What are your religious beliefs? 
  • Have you ever had any DUIs? If so, how many? 
  • Did/does anyone in your family suffer from a mental health disorder? 
  • Have you ever been in therapy before? What for? 

Questions may also focus on topics such as:  

  • Symptoms 
  • Psychiatric history 
  • Medical history 
  • Family history 
  • Social history 
  • Substance abuse and addiction 

Professionals may also conduct other physical exams to rule out any possible physical causes of the individual’s symptoms. This can include blood and urine tests. If the doctor suspects that you have a nervous system problem or a thyroid problem, they may order an MRI or CT scan.  

How Long Does a Mental Health Evaluation Take? 

The duration of a psychiatric evaluation is dependent on the severity of the person’s symptoms, medical history, and more. The majority of the test is taken up by the information the doctor provides to the patient as well as signing any consent forms. Usually, a psych evaluation lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. At our Pompano rehabilitation center, evaluations can take up to 2 hours to ensure that we have covered all of the individual’s symptoms and needs.  

Finding a Mental Health Evaluation Near Me 

Finding where you can get a mental health evaluation done can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with this process. Fortunately, Banyan Treatment Centers offers mental health evaluations at our Pompano location, as well as a variety of mental health and addiction treatment programs. This allows clients to get help and start treatment with the same team they’ve been working with since day one.  

For more information about our addiction and mental health treatment in Pompano, call Banyan today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information, and we’ll reach out to you. Don’t go another day without getting help.   


Related Reading:  

Habits to Improve Your Mental Health 

Best Emotional Support Animals for Mental Health 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
What to Expect During a Full Mental Health Assessment
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