Mental Health Screening
How and When a Screening Is Used
Screening is a type of assessment tool used in mental health screening to help mental health practitioners and counselors to provide the best health care to any patient (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016). Screening provides important information to the mental health practitioners regarding the health status of the patient. Screening will help a mental health practitioner in determining the diagnosis, costs involved, any considerations to undertake, and any key factors in the treatment process of the patient (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016). Before a screening happens, there are some considerations taken into account, which may involve the tests involved in the screening process, the reliability of the tests, and the purpose of the tests (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016).
There are many tests involved in the screening process to ascertain the major issues affecting a particular mental patient. Some of the tests include depression tests for depressed individuals, bipolar tests for individuals with extreme changes in their moods, and addiction tests for individuals with a drug addiction history (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016). The results of the tests are analyzed and the best treatment procedures are undertaken. Mental health screening is the quickest way to determine whether a patient is suffering from or at a risk of a mental health condition. This can save mental health practitioners a lot of time resource and they can be able to address any arising issue immediately (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016).
Screening in mental health care is used to diagnose mental illness if a patient has signs and symptoms related to a mental condition (Leo, Srinivasan, & Parekh, 2011). Screening is done collaboratively with the patient after analyzing of the available signs and symptoms. Some of the tests involve the clients directly where they can answer questions in a questionnaire and the level of any present symptoms available (Leo, Srinivasan, & Parekh, 2011). Screening helps provide a basis for understanding a mental illness present in a client and can help mental health practitioners in addressing the symptoms, which need immediate attention (Leo, Srinivasan, & Parekh, 2011).
Legal and Ethical Parameters Related To Administering and Interpreting Assessment Tools
In the process of administering and interpreting assessment tools, there are legal and ethical parameters to be considered which are meant to protect the client from any harm (Aidala et al., 2004). An assessment process is aimed at gathering information to determine any arising problems of the client to be considered during the counseling process (Aidala et al., 2004). This means that the assessment process is a first step to other processes and it is not meant to provide a diagnosis only but a follow up should be done regarding the treatment and support process (Aidala et al., 2004). It is ethical for any counselors to not only consider the assessment process but to undertake all other processes involved in the counseling process.
The American Counseling Association code of ethics addresses ethics related to administering and interpreting assessment tools with standardizations for the qualifications of the test users (Aidala et al., 2004). This includes the counselor’s skills and knowledge, the selection of the assessment tool, the scoring, and the interpretation of the scores (Aidala et al., 2004). The code of ethics also addresses the client’s rights regarding their consent regarding the security of their assessment scores information. Clients have a right is choosing a mental health practitioner whom they deem fit to address their issues (Aidala et al., 2004).
Confidentiality is a must for all mental health practitioners regarding the client’s results. Legal parameters also demand that the assessments be conducted in a safe and similar environment to avoid disparities for different clients (Leo, Srinivasan, ; Parekh, 2011). The conditions in providing a diagnosis should be similar for all patients except for clients requiring special attention. Considerations that may negatively affect the clients should be carefully handled. The American Counseling Association code of ethics requires that counselors should refrain from reporting a diagnosis if they believe that it will negatively affect or harm the client (Leo, Srinivasan, ; Parekh, 2011).
Sanctions and Educational Requirements for a Professional to Administer and Interpret Assessments As Governed By Your State As Well As the Guidelines of the American Counseling Association (ACA)
The American Counseling Association requires that counselors be trained in their specialties to meet specific needs of different clients and to be able use the specific assessment and interpretation tools based on their specialties (Groth-Marnet ; Wright, 2016). This has shaped the educational and training structures of counselors. Academic qualifications and awards are based on the counselor’s specialty practice. The licenses are also provided deepening on one’s specialty (Groth-Marnet ; Wright, 2016). The American Counseling Association acknowledges that the administration of assessments and interpretations as the most vital process in mental health care and requires that counselors must be properly trained to be able to administer the tests correctly. They require that mental health care practitioners have a master’s degree and experience to be able to administer the assessment tests (Groth-Marnet & Wright, 2016).
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) represents the clinical mental health counselors in the State of California (Erhabor S Idemudia, 2011). The association has enacted requirements regarding mental health counselors. One of the requirements is that mental health practitioners must be trained in clinical assessments and testing (Erhabor S Idemudia, 2011). Another requirement by the ACA for a professional to administer and interpret assessments is that all mental health care practitioners must practice in a competent and ethical manner safeguarding respect and integrity in their profession (Erhabor S Idemudia, 2011). Mental health care practitioners must also follow the set code of ethics and other laws in their respective states. For a mental health care professional to administer and interpret assessments in the state of California, the National Certified Counselor Certification (NBCC) together with the Mental Health Services Division (MHSD) of California must accredit them (Erhabor S Idemudia, 2011).
Aidala, A, Havens, J, Mellins, CA, Dodds, S, Whetten, K, Martin, D, Gillis, L & Ko, P. (2004). Development and validation of the Client Diagnostic Questionnaire (CDQ): A mental health-screening tool for use in HIV/AIDS service settings. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 9(3), 362-379.
Erhabor S Idemudia (2011) Journal abstracts from current research in the field of child and adolescent mental health, Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 23(1), 65-68.
Groth-Marnet, G., & Wright, A. J. (2016). Handbook of psychological assessment (6th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Leo, J., Srinivasan, S., & Parekh, S. (2011). The Role of the Mental Health Practitioner in the Assessment and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Chronic Pain. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 16 (1), 2-8.