WCMHC currently offers Mental Health Assessments, Substance Abuse Assessments, Combined Mental Health & Substance Abuse Assessments, and Trauma Assessments for clients ages 12 and up. Our Assessments are not covered by any insurance and are offer at a self-pay or agency funded rate. For pricing information, or if the client in question is young than 12 years old, please contact our office.
All assessments include a required Urine Drug Screening and result in a detailed report with service recommendations. All our Comprehensive Assessments are provided by Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) or a Resident in Counseling (RIC) under the direct supervision of an LPC, LMFT or LCSW.
Mental Health Assessment
Mental Health Assessments are vital early steps in assessing mental health and well-being. Mental Health Assessment tools make this process happen. Mental Health Assessments are a powerful tool for beginning to fully understand a person’s mental health, to decide if he or she should see a Mental Health Professional, and to figure out what are the specific needs. In general, Mental Health Assessments are used for:
- Identifying symptoms and problems
- Creating a Mental Health Treatment Plan
- Treatment Planning
- Decision making
- Identifying client’s strengths
- Promotion positive changes
Examples of Mental Health Assessment Tools include:
- Observation (The clinician watches and listens, and makes notes)
- Interviews (Structed and formal from a script of pre-written questions, semi-structed; or informal question and answer type discussion.)
- Interviews with a client and/ or family.
- Rating Scales
- Standardized Testing (Tests with fixed instructions for administering, taking, and recording answers, whose scores are compared to others in the same age group)
- Mental Status Exam (MSE)
- Urine Drug Screening
Substance Abuse Assessment
As the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) explains, “For those at risk of developing a serious problem with drinking or drugs, the identification of early warning signs can be enough to change negative drinking or drug use habits.” Substance Abuse Assessments may provide the visual evidence necessary to change a person’s decision about treatment. Essentially, assessments involve a series of questions which help identify warning signs of substance abuse. Some indicators may be frequency of use (i.e. daily, monthly, or yearly) or duration of use (i.e. how long abuse may have occurred). Clinician’s Substance Abuse (ASAM) Assessments are in-depth, involving a series of questions which are then scored based on the answers—risk of abuse is then based on the tabulated score. Substance Abuse (ASAM) Assessments involve a person’s personal history of substance abuse, health history, family history of substance abuse, age, and may also ask about any current mental health disorders—all of which can contribute to a person’s risk of developing a substance use disorder. There are also assessments which may gauge a person’s substance abuse over the past 12 months. Questions for these assessments may include the following, as noted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- Have you used substances other than prescribed medications in the past 12 months?
- Can you make it through a week without using substances? A day?
- Do you engage in abuse of more than one substance at a time?
- Have you ever experienced a “blackout” due to drug use?
- Do you have the ability to stop use of substances when you desire?
- Do you ever feel remorse about your substance use?
- Does anyone close to you, i.e. family, complain about or mention your drug use?
- Do you feel that you have ever let down your family or fallen short on obligations due to drug use?
- Can you say that you have ever done something illegal to obtain substances?
- Have you ever undergone withdrawal symptoms when you stopped use of drugs?
- Have you experienced medical side effects due to drug use (i.e. loss of memory, contracted contagious diseases, tremors, etc.)?
Certain Substance Abuse ASAM assessments may be geared toward adolescents. The questions involve many of the same questions given to adults, but some are more teen-specific. Examples of questions on an adolescent substance abuse screen may be:
- Have you ever lost friends due to your drug use?
- Have you ever been in trouble at school because of drug use?
- Are you falling behind in school due to drug use?
- Have you been arrested for drug use?
- Have you contacted someone about getting help with treatment?
Substance Abuse Assessments are typically used for identifying early signs of a substance use disorder but may also be used to identify withdrawal symptoms and severity. Substance abuse assessments may be the first step in identifying a substance use disorder and treatment is the first step in recovery.
Combined Mental Health & Substance Abuse Assessment:
This dual service combines the tools of both the Mental Health Assessment and Substance Abuse Assessment and includes a required Urine Drug Screening. This service results in a detailed report with service recommendations at a discounted rate.
Trauma Assessments are in-depth exploration of the nature and severity of the traumatic events, the consequences of those events, and current trauma-related symptoms. Behavioral health problems, including substance use and mental health conditions, are more difficult to treat if trauma-related symptoms and disorders are not detected early and treated effectively. Although the high prevalence of significant psychological trauma among clients with serious and persistent mental health challenges is well known, and even where it is duly recorded in initial psychiatric histories, such trauma is rarely reflected in the primary (or secondary) diagnosis. A history of trauma, even when significant, generally appears only in the category of “developmental history”, and as such does not become the focus of treatment.
If trauma is not considered when a consumer enters a service setting, there is an increased risk of being diagnosed incorrectly. Additionally, without assessing, clients’ trauma histories and related symptoms often go undetected, leading providers to direct services toward symptoms and disorders that may only partially explain client presentations and distress. Failure to assess for trauma can have important implications for treatment and recovery:
- Increases a consumer’s vulnerability to substance abuse disorders.
- Leads to a worse course of serious mental illness.
- Contributes to social isolation and loss of social support, increasing vulnerability to relapse in persons with serious mental health challenges.
Benefits of Inquiry
- Assessment for trauma history and trauma-related symptoms can help behavioral health practitioners identify individuals at risk of developing more pervasive and severe symptoms of traumatic stress.
- This identifies cases early and allows treatment of basic causes rather than vainly treating the symptom of the moment