Mental Health Testing (Mental Health Assessment)

Mental health testing gives the clinical practitioner an overall picture of how well the person feels emotionally and how well the person able to think, reason, and remember (cognitive functioning). The clinical practitioner will also pay attention to the person’s mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, memory, and ability to self-express, as well as how well the person gets along with other people, including family and friends.

Mental health assessment is done to:

(a) Arrive at an accurate diagnosis of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and anorexia nervosa.

(b) Differentiate between mental and physical health problems.

(c) Evaluate a person who has been referred for mental health treatment because of problems at school, work, or home. For example, a mental health assessment may be used to find out if a child has learning disabilities or behavior disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

(d) Assess the mental health of a person who has been hospitalized or arrested for a crime, such as drunken driving or physical abuse.