If you are concerned about your daughter’s mental health, you may want to consider an assessment. This type of consultation, typically conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist or trained professional counselor, can help teens and their parents better understand specific behavior patterns. Concerned parents often worry about the mental health of their teenagers and how it affects their quality of life, as well as the family’s well-being.
What Is a Mental Health Assessment?
A mental health assessment is the critical first step in diagnosing mental issues and significant changes in emotions or behavior. The assessment typically involves undergoing a series of tests and interviews designed to gauge the status of a teen’s mental and emotional state.
During the consultation, which may take a few hours over the course of several appointments, a mental health professional assembles a picture of how your teen sees the world, and how she thinks and behaves. This information can be instrumental in diagnosing depression, anxiety, mood and psychotic disorders, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
How Are Testing and Assessments Performed?
The consultation typically begins with a routine health questionnaire to identify any medical issues that could potentially affect your teen’s thinking or behavior. Although this is not always part of the assessment, it’s important to rule out any physical problems that may contribute to your child’s mental or emotional issues.
During the consultation, the diagnostic professional will interview your teen. Interviews typically include questions regarding behavior, stresses at home and school, and personal relationships. The counselor will talk with your teen about her moods, thoughts and feelings to determine how her mental issues may be affecting her well-being and overall quality of life.
Teens suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental disorders are at increased risk for committing suicide, so it is important for teens to answer all questions honestly and without fear of reprisal.
When Do Teens Need an Assessment?
Teens are known for being moody, worrisome and irritable, but there’s a difference between normal teenage angst and more serious mental health problems. If your teen has excessive mood swings or periods of intense anger or sadness, scheduling a consultation with an experienced professional may be a good idea.
A mental and behavioral assessment is also wise for teens who stop enjoying their usual activities or stop wanting to see friends. Evaluating your teen for potential problems is also recommended if she is having difficulty in school or is exhibiting risky behavior.
Treatment for depression, anxiety and other serious issues cannot begin until the condition is diagnosed. If you believe that your daughter or another young woman in your care is suffering from emotional, mental or behavioral problems, contact Havenwood Academy today. Our trained professional staff can answer your questions and provide suggestions for seeking diagnosis and treatment. Remember, treatment can’t begin until the problem is identified through a standard mental health assessment.