How to Conduct a Mental Health Assessment

We provide comprehensive and compassionate mental health and wellness services to children, adolescents and young adults in California, Oregon and Alaska.

Request a consultation
How to Conduct a Mental Health Assessment
How to Conduct a Mental Health Assessment
May 8, 2022

How to Conduct a Mental Health Assessment

People who have ever experienced mental health problems know that good mental health can be a moving target. You can go from feeling great one day to feeling very low the next day and vice versa. That's why it is so important to continue to keep up with a treatment plan and take the necessary steps each day to upkeep your mental health.

However, for many people, it is easy to get caught up in the responsibilities of day-to-day life whether it be school, work, or personal duties. You can become so wrapped up in these things that your mental health can suffer without you even realizing it. This is why it is beneficial to take the time to do regular mental health check-ins. This involves reflecting upon how you are feeling, both mentally and physically, what you should try to do differently, and whether or not it is necessary to seek professional help, such as meeting with a therapist.

Step 1: How Are You Feeling Mentally Today?

It is prudent to do a mental health check-in every day. You can do it in the morning when you first wake up or before you go to bed at night. It can be helpful to jot notes in a journal or notebook so that you can track your progress and look back on past entries if desired.

Start by reflecting on how you're feeling mentally. Consider the mental health concerns you commonly suffer from whether they be stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or a different type of disorder. On a given day, think about how this condition is affecting you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. You can then log this number along with the date. As you adjust your lifestyle or treatment plan, you may begin to see this number going down over time.

Step 2: How Are You Feeling Physically Today?

For this step, follow the same process as above but with physical aspects. Are you tired or sluggish? How are your energy levels? Are you having problems with digestion? Are you experiencing pain anywhere? After you've reflected upon this, decide how you're feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 meaning you feel healthy and overall great. If the number is especially low on a certain day, you may need to think about what you can do to take care of your overall health. You can ask yourself the following questions to narrow it down:

  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • Are you getting good quality sleep at night?
  • Are you limiting your intake of sugar and junk food?
  • Are you eating enough well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables?
  • Are you over-indulging or eating too frequently?
  • Are you exercising regularly?
  • Are you getting enough sunlight and fresh air?

Remember that some mental health issues can lead to physical reactions. Some common physical symptoms brought about by conditions like anxiety and depression include:

  • Lower energy
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Trembling
  • Stomachaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, they may be tied to your mental health and you may need to speak with a therapist about what adjustments you can make to start feeling better.

Step 3: What Am I Doing to Make Myself Happy?

Even if your mental health is currently in a stable place, it doesn't mean you shouldn't still take small steps each day to make yourself feel even better and keep up that stability. It is easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life that you forget to take time for yourself to do things you enjoy. Consider what simple activities you can work into your day to bring yourself joy. Some examples include:

  • Practice an instrument
  • Do some painting or another form of art
  • Plan a mini-vacation for yourself
  • Spend time outside in the sun
  • Practice your favorite sport
  • Watch an episode of your favorite show
  • Try out a new recipe

These things don't need to be extravagant to make an impact on your overall health and well-being.

Step 4: What Will I Do if I Experience a Mental Health Episode?

You should have a plan in place in the event that you have a bad mental health episode and need help to get out of it. Some things to consider include:

  • Who is your emergency contact? (A family member or friend who you can speak with while in dire need)
  • Do you have a therapist to reach out to?
  • What self-care practices are you going to do during this episode?
  • Do you know any breathing exercises you can practice?

Being prepared in this way can ensure that your mental health will not spiral out of control during these episodes.

Mental health is an ever-changing thing. For people with disorders like anxiety and depression, there are going to be good days and bad days. It is important to take steps every day to prevent stress from taking a toll on your mental health. One of the ways to do this is with a daily mental health check-in. This involves sitting down with a journal and reflecting on how you're feeling both mentally and physically. If your mental health is suffering, you can use this time to think about changes you should consider implementing in your life. At Achieve Medical Center we want to help you achieve your best possible mental health. We can help you learn and implement strategies to upkeep your mental wellness and find ways to care for yourself when you're having a slump. Call (619) 381-8249today to learn more.