Before enrolling in a treatment program at Aurora Behavioral Health, prospective patients must take a mental health assessment from a licensed behavioral health clinician. With the mental health assessment result, our team can learn the individual's unique behavioral health needs. Learn more about mental health assessments at Aurora Behavioral Health below.
What is a mental health assessment?
A mental health assessment involves a series of questions from a behavioral health professional. During a mental health assessment, prospective patients answer questions about their current concerns, medical history, and psychiatric history. If applicable, behavioral health professionals also ask about the person's history of drug and alcohol use. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions, and the individual's responses allow our team to build a complete patient profile.
The mental health assessment helps our team evaluate a person's symptoms and develop an understanding of the individual's mental health needs. With the mental health assessment results, our team can identify the services and programs that best meet each individual's needs. Additionally, the results of the mental health assessment can help our team design custom treatment programs. Custom treatment programs help ensure that patients get the attention they need and have the highest likelihood of achieving their behavioral health goals.
Sometimes, individuals who need to take a mental health assessment do not want to take it without the company of a loved one. A family member or friend may be present during the mental health assessment process, and we encourage prospective patients to bring anyone who can provide assistance and support. Mental health assessments are supposed to help the patient and the patient's behavioral health team. Assessments are not supposed to be scary or anxiety-provoking. Additionally, the results of a mental health assessment are entirely confidential, and we only share the results of the assessment with team members who manage the patient's file.
Our mental health assessment vs. a full psychiatric evaluation
It is important to note that our free mental health assessment is not a substitute for a full psychiatric evaluation. The purpose of the free mental health assessment is to quickly determine whether a hospital stay or some other type of service would be beneficial for the patient. If a patient decides to move forward with treatment, they will need additional testing and exams.
Once the assessment is complete, an intake counselor discusses treatment recommendations and helps patients understand how to move forward. If a patient enrolls in a treatment program, the patient will then undergo a full psychiatric evaluation before starting treatment. This additional psychiatric evaluation covers a broader range of mental health topics and involves the expertise of additional behavioral health professionals.
Who should get a mental health assessment?
People who struggle with their mental health should get a mental health assessment. Common situations that occur when someone struggles with mental health include experiencing difficulty at school, having relationship issues, and exhibiting poor performance at work. Additionally, signs and symptoms that indicate taking a mental health assessment is a good idea include:
- Aggressive, threatening, and assaultive behaviors
- Self-harm behaviors, such as cutting
- Abusing drugs and alcohol
- Bipolar disorder
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anxiety and panic
Suicidal ideation is also indicative of a serious mental health problem that requires the attention of behavioral health professionals. Individuals who engage in suicidal ideation should take a mental health assessment and seek treatment. However, if a person needs immediate counseling, they should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. The lifeline is available 24/7, and a behavioral health professional can listen to the individual's concerns and direct them towards appropriate resources. Additionally, if a person is ever in immediate danger of committing suicide, call 911 for in-person assistance.
Why should a person schedule a mental health assessment?
A mental health assessment is the first step towards treatment for mental health conditions. It is important to get started with a mental health assessment and any appropriate treatment because mental health conditions typically only worsen over time. Symptoms can intensify, and the individual may develop additional mental health conditions or substance abuse problems. By assessing and treating mental health conditions early, a person gives themselves a higher chance of recovery and lasting behavioral change.
How long do mental health assessments take?
There is no set duration for mental health assessments, and the time that each assessment takes depends on the patient's unique needs. In most situations, a mental health assessment takes between 30 and 45 minutes. Importantly, our intake team can administer mental health assessments 24/7. If starting a treatment program is the best course of action, patients can enroll in a treatment program within two hours. This speed and 24/7 availability are essential for patients who experience a behavioral health crisis and need immediate attention. Our team's initial goal with each patient is to stabilize the individual and ensure that they do not pose a danger to themselves.
How do I schedule an assessment and get started with treatment?
To schedule an assessment, call our 24/7 patient services helpline at (877) 870-7012 or contact us online. When you reach out, a member of our team can help answer any questions you may have about our treatment facility and programs. If you are ready to move forward with a free mental health assessment, our team member can help schedule you for the next available appointment.