Your Guide to Mental Health Assessments
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There are several different types of mental health assessments. Some are online quizzes, some are clinical questionnaires with a scoring system and some are more like a conversation. The purpose of a self-assessment is to get some information about conditions you may have, but it’s not a diagnosis. Taking an assessment with a licensed clinical professional can provide you with some answers about what you’re experiencing. It can also give them background information about you that will help them make a recommendation for treatments that are likely to be most helpful for you. 

This last version is what our initial assessments are like. This article will give you some details about what to expect and how you can prepare for a Lightfully assessment.

What do we mean by “mental health assessment”?

A mental health assessment is a conversation you have with a licensed clinical professional that may include structured questionnaires and ratings. They’ll use your responses to determine what mental health condition or conditions you may have and what treatments you might need. Most in-depth mental health assessments like ours are highly detailed, so the conversation can take up to about an hour.

What to expect during a mental health assessment with Lightfully

Many of the questions will be simple things about you like your contact information, your marital status and your family. We’ll ask you to describe your current symptoms, and we’ll ask you to rate certain things on a numeric scale. This will help us understand what you’re experiencing and what’s most bothersome to you right now. We’ll also ask you about your goals for treatment. 

You’ll talk with a licensed clinician, and you’ll have time to ask any questions you may have about treatment at Lightfully. You don’t have to go into detail about things that are distressing. However, we use the information we collect during your mental health assessment to determine which licensed clinical therapists you’ll work with and create a personalized holistic treatment plan that’s unique to you. This includes the approximate amount of time you’ll need in our programs. We want to get to know you and create a treatment plan that’s tailored to deliver the help you need.

If you’re scheduling an assessment for yourself, it’s a good idea to plan a self-care activity you can do right away after the call. It could be taking a long bath, journaling, watching your favorite movie or taking a nap. Just be ready to give yourself some space to process whatever emotions come up.

Here are some of the main points your Lightfully mental health assessment will cover:

  • A caring conversation — The licensed clinicians who do our assessments are compassionate and caring people. They’re patient when clients need some time to think, and they ask thoughtful follow-up questions. They recognize how much courage it takes to have this conversation, so you have their full respect and attention. 

  • Mental health history — This part is about how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms and seeking treatment. Your assessment clinician will likely ask about your experiences with therapy and psychiatric medication. Be prepared to tell them when symptoms started, how long you’ve been in therapy (if you have a therapist), and what medications you’re taking. Another thing to consider is what treatments you’ve felt were most helpful for you.

  • Personal history — Your personal history includes basic facts about you and your family. Again, we want to get to know you as a person. Where did you grow up? What was your family of origin like? What kind of work do you do? What do you like to do in your spare time? We’ll ask if you’ve experienced any type of trauma, when that happened and what kinds of things cause you stress. You can take all the time you need to answer.

  • Mental evaluation — These are questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This is where you can talk about the challenges you’re having on a daily basis and what you’ve been doing to cope. Details about your current symptoms — their frequency, how long you’ve been experiencing them and how they make you feel — are particularly important when it comes to creating an effective treatment plan. 

  • Cognitive evaluation — We may ask about what kinds of support you need in day-to-day life activities like getting dressed, preparing meals and going to work. The clinician may assess how clearly you’re thinking, what your memory is like, and how well you can use mental reasoning or make decisions. These details can be important diagnostic information.

Tips for supporting a loved one with their mental health assessment

Before you schedule an assessment for someone else, take the time to show them you care about how they’re feeling by offering emotional support and asking questions without judgment. Repeating what they’ve said in different words can show you’re listening. If you can validate their feelings and show empathy, they’ll know you’ve got their best interests in mind.

Ask if they’ve thought about treatment and how they’re feeling. You may not be able to answer all of their questions, but it’s important to remind them that you’ll be there to support them no matter what. 

Schedule a Lightfully mental health assessment for you or a loved one

Making the decision to look at options for treatment is a big step in itself. We have a lot of respect for each person who talks with our assessment clinicians. Having faith in yourself to be a little vulnerable and talk about your symptoms and your history shows you’re ready to accomplish a lot in treatment. We can’t wait to meet you.

When you’re ready to schedule an assessment, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. Or you can contact us with any questions you have right now. You’ve got this!

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