Taking the first steps to seek help can be daunting and you may worry about what to expect from your initial assessment. We have put this information together to help you understand more about our service and how to get the most from your assessment.
What to expect from your assessment
The aim of the assessment is to get an understanding of your mental health problem and the impact it is having on your life. We can then identify your goals for treatment.
You will be asked a range of questions in a structured manner about:
- The symptoms you are experiencing. For example, changes to your sleep, appetite and motivation.
- How the problem impacts on your day-to-day living and any changes to your behaviour. For example, things you do differently or have stopped doing because of how you are feeling.
- The sorts of thoughts you have been thinking. These could be worries, self-critical thoughts or upsetting memories.
To make the most of your assessment, it would be helpful for you to think about these things before we speak to you. Some people find it helpful to write this information down to help remember.
Please don’t think that we are not interested in other aspects of your life. As we only have 30-45 minutes, it is important that we focus on your current symptoms. We can then get the information that will help us make the best decision about your care.
What can I do before the assessment?
Questionnaires are an important part of assessment and treatment. Your answers help us to understand how you have been feeling over the last two weeks. Please complete the questionnaires before the assessment and have them to hand.
We will ask about your current medications. Please have the names and doses of any medication you are taking.
If your assessment is on the telephone, there are a few more important things to think about.
- Please charge your phone if required.
- Where possible, take the call somewhere with a good mobile signal.
- Be somewhere quiet and confidential with no one else around, especially children who may need your attention. We will be asking you a number of personal questions so you will need to be able to talk freely and be able to concentrate. We will not be able to complete the assessment in public.
What happens next?
At the end of your assessment, we will explain the options available and recommend the treatment that would be most suitable for your needs.
This treatment may be via a computerised package, in a course, via telephone, or face to face. At times, our service may not be appropriate for your problems. If this is the case, we may refer you to another service or signpost you to other community services.