Information for the public

What should I expect to happen at an assessment?

What should I expect to happen at an assessment?

The assessment will enable your healthcare professional to identify whether you have a mental health problem and find out how long you have had your symptoms and how they are affecting your everyday life. They may ask you about:

  • your thoughts, feelings and behaviour

  • whether you have had a mental health problem before – and, if so, whether any treatments were helpful

  • whether you have a physical health problem or other mental health problem

  • whether anyone in your family has had a mental health problem (now or in the past)

  • whether you have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse

  • your relationships, and your living and working arrangements.

You may be asked to answer a questionnaire.

If you have children, you might also be asked about the impact of your mental health problem on them.

As part of the assessment, your healthcare professional should discuss treatment options with you (see What treatments might I be offered?).

You should also be asked whether you have had thoughts about suicide or harming yourself. If you have, your healthcare professional should make sure you have support and give you information about where you can get further help. You should call your GP or another professional if you are not able to cope and your thoughts about suicide or harming yourself become more intense. You should be offered more help, which may include talking with you or seeing you more frequently or referring you to a specialist mental health service.

If there is a strong risk that you might harm yourself (or others), you may be referred to the emergency services or a specialist mental health service straightaway.

Questions you might like to ask your care team

  • What does having a mental health problem mean for my health, daily life and work?

  • What could have caused my symptoms?

  • How will my progress be monitored and who can I contact if my symptoms get worse?

  • Are there any support organisations in my local area?

  • Information Standard