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Goals And Procedure Of Mental Health Assessment

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How Do Goals And Procedure Of Mental Health Assessment?




World Healthcare organization has described the psychological well being of a person as a state of complete mental, physical and social well being and not merely depends on the presence or absence of an infirmity or a disease (Paniagua & Yamada, 2013). With the increasing trends of globalization, the number of mental ailments is found to be increasing proportionally. Present scenario in Australia shows that one in every five Australians are suffering from mental illness. It has been designated as one of the third leading cause of disability burden in the nation and this can be backed up by a fact that accounts for about 27% of the total years lost in disability. National survey conducted has shown that only 35% of the mentally affected individuals who sought for health service and only 29% consulted a GP within 12 months of the survey (Heilburn et al., 2014). Before it can be seen that the rise of mental health patients are taking place but awareness for seeking healthcare services are very less. Mental health disorders not only destroys quality of the life of an individual but also results her to face different social issues that makes the matter worse as mental disorder stigma still pre ails in the society in spite of the government’s initiatives to spread awareness. Therefore the essay will portray the responsibility of the health care professionals in assessing the mental health of people affected by mental health disorders, spread awareness, helping them with proper interventions, managing risks that may compromise their lives and other similar aspects.


Approach for mental health assessment:

Currently global mental health care has focused their aim in the improvement of care for the individuals who are suffering from health care. However, evidence based articles suggest that proper mental health assessment is not only focusing on the issue faced by the mental health patient but should include a comprehensive approach that would look all over into the subjective well being of the individual (Rayner et al., 2014). Proper mental health assessment would also include the nurse to perceive self efficacy, intergenerational dependence, autonomy of the patients. It is also the responsibility of the nurse to recognize the ability of a mental health patient to understand and evaluate the mental health patient’s intellectual as well as emotional potential.

Effect of mental health on individuals:

People who have developed mental illness are vulnerable to a greater risk for decreased quality of life. Not only that they face educational difficulties, lowered productivity as well as severe poverty due to inability to perform work. Such patients are also not able to communicate socially and go through a phase of social exclusion which in turn has different negative impacts on their lives increasing their intensity of their disorders. They become more vulnerable to be abused by perpetrators and also suffer from several additional health problems (Rogers & Pilgrim, 2014). It had been seen in many cases that mental health disorder has affected the educational initiatives and this in turn prevent them from pursuing careers and therefore their future does not turn out to be bright. Researchers have seen that those people who have developed the disorder had lesser evidences of completing schools and colleges in comparison to their friends who have no mental disorders. Moreover mental disorders affect lives of human beings in such a way that is leads to lowered productivity in the employment sector which harms their career resulting in facing economic crisis. Moreover all of these result in a huge impact on the personal lives of such mental health people. This in turn makes them to compromise different aspects of personal lives and often emotional tensions start up in normal family lives. All of these, sum up to situations that make the mentally ill patient more vulnerable to self harm and substance abuse letting to complete destruction of a quality life that is the birthright of every human being (Patel & Saxena, 2014).

Effect of mental health on families and carers:

Managing mental health patients has often been a burden to the carers and family persons. This is mainly because as they are caring for the mentally ill patient and are giving much off their physical effort, they are themselves getting stressed both physically as well as mentally. Excessive pressures on the family results in decreased economic condition of the family and often there is reduction in the earning of household with increased risk of poverty. Family members may thereby pass through severe chronic stress that may occur at physical level as well as emotional level while caring for their family members.


Effect of mental health disorder on society:

Not only at the family level, have mental health patients also contributed to the burden of national economies and impeding international public health efforts. Although societal impacts vary according to cultures and nations, untreated mental health issues develop significant costs to society. WHO have also estimated that when mental illness as well as unemployment due to mental illness is together take into account, they result in a gross total loss of few billions to the nation which is a indeed a huge sum of money (Seligman et al., 2014). Although majority of the mental health patient do not exhibit harmful dangerous behaviors, but there are some patients who might become vulnerable to show aggressive behavior and may act as a threat to society due to their violence and incarceration.

Different types of mental health disorders:

A large number of mental health disorders can be listed that affect the lives of many individuals in Australia. It is very important for the nurse to conduct proper mental health assessment of the individual to indentify exactly the symptoms and the disorder that he is facing. Therefore, she needs to develop an experience that will help him to handle each patient effectively (Baker et al., 2016). Different cases of mental health diseases can be allocated for her who might include severe alcohol dependency or alcohol abuse.      Delirium is another case of mental health disorder which can be identified by the patients’ illusions, restlessness, incoherence and others. She may also face eating disorders which are very common among teenagers and young adults nowadays. Besides psychosis, anxiety, bipolar disorders, mood disturbances, schizophrenia are some of the disorders whose cases are recently reported to be increasing in different states of Australia with the increase of different types of stresses over life and lifestyle and expectation from every individual (Switzer, Dew & Bromet, 2013).

Goals and procedure of mental health assessment:

The goal of a mental healthcare nurse should include providing a comprehensive assessment that will include the diagnosis and panning of the therapeutic interventions. The treatment will only be planned after conducting out proper evaluation of the every aspect of the mentally ill patient and consulting with different healthcare professionals and the family members. Conducting of the mental health assessment and taking of the history of the patient is important to plan out the interventions (Forbes & Watt, 2015). The nurse has to gather sufficient information about the patient so that she can clearly visualize the patient’s problem in order to take steps. A proper list of goals that are needed to be attended by the nurse for correct mental health assessment of the patient is to establish a therapeutic alliance with the patient. Secondly the nurse should also collect the right and correct data pertaining to the patient’s mental state. This is important for the nurse to make formulation from it. Thirdly it is extremely important for the nurse to develop understanding of the problems of the patients. Depending upon this the nurse would develop a management and treatment plan which would be done in collaboration with the patient. The last goals of the nurse would be to decrease the impact of the psychiatric symptoms of the patient so that he can gradually recover from this phases.(Russell et al., 2016)

Risk assessment:

The nurse should also conduct a risk assessment. The nurse should collaborate with experienced professionals to devise plan after proper agreement from every of the professionals in case of patients in case of patients who shows violence and aggression. The risk assessments of the nurse should include considering the supports that are available to the patient (Brownie et al., 2014). It also include considering whether any changes in the level of functioning in general. The risk assessment also involves assessing that whether the individual had become impulsive, distressed or desperate. The nurse should ensure that whether any drug or alcohol issues were involved or not. The assessment would also involve evaluating the different types of behaviors that deems whether the patient is at risk.


Procedure and protocol:

The protocol that the nurse would follow to develop a proper mental health assessment form includes assessing the action of the patient. In order to understand the action of the patient, the nurse would clearly evaluate the appearance and behavior of the patient. She should also include the speech of the patient, mood and effect, form of thought, content of thought, perception, insight as well as cognition of the patient (Lereya et al., 2015). This will be known by the nurse from the action of the patent whom she is treating. Te next step after evaluating his action, the nurse needs to understand the patient history and formulate idea from it. This is done by presenting physical findings; history of the mental health program, different medications that patient was taking, personal background of the patient, his personal affairs, alcohol and drugs, sexual health and forensic history and others (Yaghmei, Koudelka & Simpson, 2013).

The nurse should develop a proper collaborative care by consulting with different professionals like GP, case manager, psychiatrist and others. The nurse may also develop a psychosocial framework in order to assure that she is planning the correct interventions. This framework includes assessment of the physical phenomena, functional performance, interpersonal communication, social resources as well as relationship with society and other environment. Risk assessments for self harm usually includes self harm or suiciding tendency, looking over aggression and harm to others. After proper legal considerations like duty of care, estimating the patient’s capacity to consent and other legislations and policies the nurse should propose her planning (Pitchell et al., 2015).

Examples of mental health assessments for mental disorders:

One can provide examples in order to portray how different cases can be handled. In case of patients with depression, different screening tools are used by nurses with the help of important question that help the nurse to gather information about the reason that is causing depression. Other tools like patient health questionnaire feeling, different scales like hospitals anxiety and depression scale, interview based tools can be utilized to assess the main issue and then provide interventions accordingly (Corrigan, Druss & Perlick, 2014). In case of bipolar disorders, the nurse should conduct physical exam, psychiatric assessment, mood charting and understand the criteria of the patient for bipolar disorder. These will give them an idea about how to handle the patient with bipolar disorder. In case of patients with substance abuse disorders, behaviour skills checklist should be done, proper communication with the patient is done to know the major reasons, emotional and personal barriers are known and others to assess the mental health patients. Thereby these are some of the preliminary mental health assessments required to be conducted by nurses to treat such people.



Hence, one can come to a conclusion that a patient suffering from mental health issues not only suffers from emotional stresses but also have affected physical live as the improper mental health affect the physiological system of the body. It affects their personal as well as professional life. Even societies make them excluded and in turn make them more also fight for themselves. Not only the mental health patients, but also their family members are also getting affected economically affecting them both mentally and physically. Even societies are also getting affected. Therefore it is extremely important for healthcare professional to provide correct interventions it these individuals so that they can develop a better quality life. However, in order to provide better interventions, the nurses should have the capability to properly assess the mental health condition of the patient so that she can provide the best interventions as well as recommendations and referrals to other experts if necessary. Just like every physiological problem of patients are handed with property by the healthcare sectors, it is also their duty that each and every mental health issues should also be handled with similar property. A nation free from mental health issues will surely succeed in making the nation proud economically and culturally as well.



Baker, J. T., Pennant, L., Baltrušaitis, T., Vijay, S., Liebson, E. S., Ongur, D., & Morency, L. P. (2016). Toward Expert Systems in Mental Health Assessment: A Computational Approach to the Face and Voice in Dyadic Patient-Doctor Interactions. Iproceedings, 2(1), e44.

Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. Guilford Publications.

Brownlie, K., Schneider, C., Culliford, R., Fox, C., Boukouvalas, A., Willan, C., & Maidment, I. D. (2014). Medication reconciliation by a pharmacy technician in a mental health assessment unit. International journal of clinical pharmacy, 36(2), 303-309.

Corrigan, P. W., Druss, B. G., & Perlick, D. A. (2014). The impact of mental illness stigma on seeking and participating in mental health care. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 15(2), 37-70.

Forbes, H., & Watt, E. (2015). Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Heilbrun, K., DeMatteo, D., Holliday, S. B., & LaDuke, C. (Eds.). (2014). Forensic mental health assessment: A casebook. Oxford University Press.

Lereya, S. T., Copeland, W. E., Costello, E. J., & Wolke, D. (2015). Adult mental health consequences of peer bullying and maltreatment in childhood: two cohorts in two countries. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(6), 524-531.

Paniagua, F. A., & Yamada, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of multicultural mental health: Assessment and treatment of diverse populations. Academic Press.

Patel, V., & Saxena, S. (2014). Transforming lives, enhancing communities—innovations in global mental health. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(6), 498-501.

Pitschel-Walz, G., Leucht, S., Bäuml, J., Kissling, W., & Engel, R. R. (2015). The effect of family interventions on relapse and rehospitalization in schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Focus.

Rayner, L., Matcham, F., Hutton, J., Stringer, C., Dobson, J., Steer, S., & Hotopf, M. (2014). Embedding integrated mental health assessment and management in general hospital settings: feasibility, acceptability and the prevalence of common mental disorder. General hospital psychiatry, 36(3), 318-324.

Rogers, A., & Pilgrim, D. (2014). A sociology of mental health and illness. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Russell, A. J., Murphy, C. M., Wilson, E., Gillan, N., Brown, C., Robertson, D. M., ... & McAlonan, G. M. (2016). The mental health of individuals referred for assessment of autism spectrum disorder in adulthood: A clinic report. Autism, 20(5), 623-627.

Switzer, G. E., Dew, M. A., & Bromet, E. J. (2013). Issues in mental health assessment. In Handbook of the sociology of mental health (pp. 115-141). Springer Netherlands

Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction (pp. 279-298). Springer Netherlands.

Yaghmaie, P., Koudelka, C. W., & Simpson, E. L. (2013). Mental healthcare comorbidity in patients with atopic dermatitis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 131(2), 428-433.


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