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How to Use Mental Health Assessment Forms for Better Outcomes in Utah

How to Use Mental Health Assessment Forms for Better Outcomes in Utah

Mental health assessment forms are important tools for evaluating the level of need for various therapy interventions and other mental health services. As you can learn more about here, there is a long list of mental health test forms that might be used based on the types of symptoms and behaviors that are of concern. But first, you might also consider some of the ways these forms can be used to get better results from mental health services in Utah.

 

Getting Help: Without knowing exactly where to start, some people suspect that they, or someone they know, is experiencing a mental health issue of some kind. For acute symptoms, a mental status examination is often the most helpful form. Ideally, this information is gathered by a qualified health clinician or emergency response personnel, but an informal checklist can be viewed here. In terms of identifying cognitive impairment, the mini mental state examination is a common tool for evaluating potential signs of dementia, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.

Finally, there are also mental health assessment forms that address non-emergency situations. One good example is this 12-item questionnaire from PsychCentral about whether someone is likely to benefit from therapy services.

http://www.von.ca/english/education/mh_guide/mh_assess.pdf

 

Self-Monitoring: With many mental disorders—and mood disorders especially—the duration and variability of mental health symptoms may be crucial diagnostic information. There are a couple of easy ways to help provide this information:

  1. Make a diary that describes the feelings or behaviors that are the cause of concern, along with other potentially important information.
  2. Find a mental health assessment form or mental disorder test that speaks to the symptoms you’ve observed. Answer the questions each day or week and consider what answers, if any, have changed.

Attempting to create an accurate record of the severity and the time/dates of psychological symptoms is one of the ways in which almost any client can contribute to better mental health outcomes. Even in the presence of symptoms that threaten the control individuals typically have over their own behaviors, this is an indirect method to gain some measure of control.

 

Provider-Issued Forms: This method of self-monitoring is not a replacement for a clinical evaluation and directed therapy interventions. In fact, the best time for self-monitoring may be during the interval between when symptoms are first observed and the date of an appointment with a mental health professional.

As such, it doesn’t hurt to ask a mental health practice what type of self-report diary or assessment form they recommend. Some practices will even have their own customized forms for you to fill out, often times beforehand. Often called an intake form, this information can make the time at a clinician’s office more productive, while also working to create a better fit between client and clinician.

 

Documentation and Common Reference: Another reason to use mental health assessment forms is that they can provide a common reference for changes to symptoms over time. Documentation should not be a fear but rather a resource that guides future interventions. And this resource may be especially important if you need health services from another provider down the road. This isn’t to say that the most commonly used tests are necessarily the best ones, but this does help explain one of the advantages of standardized forms over diary-style documentation.

 

Getting Started

If you recognize that a serious mental health issue exists but you’re not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact an actual mental health provider, rather than relying on a form or using a questionnaire as an excuse to avoid seeking help.

MMHadmin

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