When is a psychiatric assessment used?
A psychiatric assessment is usually administered at the beginning of the mental health treatment process. It can be administered in a hospital, in a school, or in an outpatient setting. Sometimes, a psychiatric assessment is performed an emergency basis. A psychiatric assessment is used to help the mental health clinician, usually a psychiatrist, determine a specific diagnosis. After completing a psychiatric assessment and determining a diagnosis, the mental health clinician can design and implement an effective treatment plan.
What happens during a psychiatric assessment?
During a psychiatric assessment, a mental health clinician will ask you or a caregiver about certain aspects of your life and behavior, including:
- Your symptoms and behaviors
- How your symptoms and behaviors impact you at school, at home, at work, and in the community
- Your relationships with others, including loved ones, coworkers, and neighbors
- Whether your family members have a history of mental health conditions
- If you are experiencing any physical conditions or symptoms; sometimes, a mental health clinician may ask for a full medical history
Psychiatric assessments can also involve lab tests, which may include:
- Blood work
- Psychological assessments
- Speech and language tests
- Other standardized assessment tools