Keeping up with your mental health is important. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a chronic mental illness. This is especially true for residents of Ohio, where nearly 20% of the adult population suffers from a type of mental illness. Someone who thinks they may be suffering from a mental illness may request what is known as a mental health test, or a mental health check. But, what is a mental health check, and what can you expect when getting one? Below is everything you need to know about mental health check-ups, and where you can get one in Ohio.
What Is a Mental Health Check?
Also known as a mental health screening, a mental health check is an exam on your emotional and mental health. This type of assessment is a tool used to help determine if you have a mental disorder. While there are some assessments you can do at home, a true, comprehensive mental health check is typically done by a professional such as your family doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
There are many different types of chronic mental illness that a mental health check can screen for. Some current mental health issues many people face include:
- Depression and Mood Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Use Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
Getting a mental health check is the first step towards a healthy, successful recovery. The results of your mental health assessment are used to help find the right treatment for your mental illness.
When Are Mental Health Evaluations Used?
A mental health check, as mentioned previously, is used to help diagnose mental disorders. Your primary care provider may use the results of your mental health check to determine whether or not you need to go to a mental health provider. This mental health provider is typically a health care professional that specializes in diagnosing chronic mental illness. They can help assess your mental health check, and recommend a treatment method that works best for you. If you are already seeing a mental health provider, they may request you get a mental health check to guide your current treatment.
The primary goals for a mental health check are the following:
- Diagnose or rule out a suspected mental health disorder
- Identify learning or intellectually disabilities
- Help doctors distinguish between physical and mental health disorders that may have similar symptoms
- Evaluate the mental health of a patient and potential treatment methods available
People often seek out a mental health test after they experience psychological, emotional, or behavioral symptoms. A mental health check may also be requested due to problems at school or work, or in the case of someone who has been arrested for crimes such as drunk driving.
What to Expect During a Mental Wellness Check
There are many different aspects of mental health. As a result, a mental health check may involve several different examinations to screen for possible mental disorders. Those types of examinations can range from simple physical examinations to more in-depth tests such as cognitive assessments.
Below are some common types of mental health tests used by doctors to screen for mental disorders.
Physical Exam: A physical examination is usually the first step used in a mental health check. Oftentimes, the symptoms of a physical illness can mimic those of a mental illness. Your primary care doctor may use a physical exam to help find out if your symptoms may be the result of something else, such as a thyroid disorder or a neurological problem. During a physical exam, your doctor may ask about your feelings, mood, behavior, and other symptoms you may be experiencing.
Lab Tests: Your doctor may also order lab tests to help rule out physical conditions. These lab tests can be bloodwork, urine tests, or brain scans. During these tests, your doctor may also ask you about drug and alcohol use.
Mental Health History: This stage of a mental health check is aimed at understanding your history of mental illness. Your doctor will ask questions about how long your symptoms have been occurring, along with your personal and family history of mental health. They may also ask about any previous treatments or counseling you’ve had.
Personal History: This stage of a mental health check is all about you. Your doctor may ask you questions about your personal life to understand what may be causing your symptoms. Those questions could be things like: Are you married? What do you do for work? Are you an active member of the military, or have you previously served? What was your childhood like? Have you ever been arrested for drug or alcohol-related crimes?
Mental/Cognitive Evaluation: During this stage of a mental health check, your doctor will use a variety of tests to gauge your mental and cognitive state. You may be asked more in-depth questions about your symptoms and how they affect your day-to-day life. You may also take tests of basic tasks like focusing your attention, remembering short lists, or solving simple math problems.
Do I Need to Evaluate My Mental Wellbeing?
Many people who wonder whether they need a mental health check may also be unsure as to what being mentally healthy looks like. Suffering from mental illness, especially for long durations, can make it difficult to remember what good mental health looks like. But, what does it mean to be mentally healthy?
For someone to be mentally healthy, they should be able to deal with the occasional, normal stresses of life in a healthy, positive way. Someone who has good mental health can experience anxiety or worry without it causing problems with their day-to-day lives. During a mental health check, your doctor may look for some of the following markers to determine if you are mentally healthy.
- You can develop and sustain meaningful relationships with people
- You can tolerate some fluctuations in your mood
- Normal sleep patterns that are regular and predictable
- You can focus and concentrate on important tasks
- Your emotions do not overwhelm your ability to think clearly
- You can learn new things and remember things you have learned
- You can change your behaviors when desired
All of these things are traits that can help you understand what it means to be mentally healthy. During your mental health check, these markers help narrow down what your symptoms may be caused by.
If you’re wondering, “What’s the difference between mental health and mental illness?” the answer is simple. Mental health is your overall mental well-being, while mental illness refers to a specific condition you may be experiencing. Once your mental health check has been completed, you may find you have a mental illness. When that happens, finding treatment is the next step.
Where to Get Help for Mental Illness in Ohio
If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of chronic mental illness, it may be time for a mental health check. At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, located just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, we’re ready to help you get the best treatment possible for your mental illness. That’s why we offer a wide range of treatment options that can be tailored to your exact needs.
Our adult mental health program provides intensive inpatient treatment for adults with mental health disorders in a safe, caring environment. Here, our team of mental health care professionals, counselors, doctors, psychotherapists, and nurses ensure that you receive the utmost care.
Along with a complete mental health check, at our Ohio mental health facility, you have access to some of the most comprehensive treatment methods available. Those can include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Discharge planning
- Personal/group therapy and education
- Family therapy and counseling
- Trauma therapy
- Medication evaluation and management
If you require a mental health check, Georgetown Behavioral Hospital is ready and waiting to help you. We understand that getting help can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. Call us today at 937-483-4930 to speak with one of our admissions specialists. You can also contact us online by filling out our confidential online contact form. When you’re ready to take your first step towards treatment, we’ll be here to help put your best foot forward.