What is a mental health assessment?
A mental health assessment usually comes in the form of a mental health quiz, which tests how you score for different factors, like stress or anxiety. These factors are usually empirically tested and can be discovered through analysing symptoms. For example, a factor in depression is often stress, and a symptom could be fatigue, irritability, or lack of motivation. A mental health quiz is usually administered by a medical professional – however, they can often be done online to discover your possible strengths and weaknesses and decide on next steps.
A mental health quiz will usually take into account:
- Your past experiences
- History of mental disorder in your family
- Your emotional wellbeing in the past two weeks
- Your physical wellbeing
- Possible stressors in your life
A mental health assessment by a doctor will also likely involve a discussion about your circumstances and thoughts. It’s good to be prepared with questions and observations to maximise your discussion with the doctor and help get an accurate diagnosis or confirmation of good mental health.
The purpose of health assessment
The purpose of a mental health assessment is to check whether enough possible symptoms are present to warrant professional diagnosis and treatment, or to provide reassurance that your feelings are normal and healthy. They essentially act as informal symptom-finders.
It helps fill in the blanks for your doctor, who can use the assessment as a basis for further testing and treatment. It also may point to possible causes, such as physical, circumstantial or biological. This is important because the treatments will differ depending on the cause. Depression caused by thyroid dysfunction requires a very different approach than depression caused by a stressful work environment.
A mental health quiz is also great for tracking your improvement!
What do the results mean?
Mental health assessments effectively function as a litmus test of your mental health. They give an indicator of how you’re doing. Everyone goes through tough times and tragedies and doing a mental health check can indicate whether your mental state is a short term and appropriate response, or whether your mental health is at risk of developing a disorder. It can also show you that you’re fine if you just want to check in.
- The results may show you that you’re mentally healthy, or they may indicate further professional assessments are needed. Mental health assessments are a direction, not a diagnosis – they can point you to the relevant action.
For example, Driven’s resilience assessment (the PR6), assesses a person in six domains of resilience – Vision, Collaboration, Tenacity, Reasoning, Composure, and Health. The PR6 can show how you score against the population, which domain needs improving, and provide a screenshot of your present-day resilience. It can direct you to seek further help if you need it.
Where can I get help?
If your scores in a mental health risk assessment show that you may want to seek further treatment, find a doctor in your area who can assess you and refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist is necessary.
Resilience is a preventative factor against mental diseases. If you want to improve your resilience, check out our Driven resilience training program.
Want to find out more about your personality?
The IPIP-NEO (International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R™) is a comprehensive personality test that’s empirically verified. Based on the Big Five model, which relies on the linguistically derived factors of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness & Neuroticism, this test is one of the most accurate and can also compare your personality results against the population.
Driven provides the IPIP-NEO assessment in the app.
The limitations of a self-assessment
Online mental health tests are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or for the treatment of any health condition. Seek the advice of a licensed mental health professional if possible.
Further, mental health tests may not be appropriate for disorders that are specific or don’t occur often. It can be hard for a questionnaire to effectively assess ADHD or bipolar disorder for example, so care should be used when doing any of these tests without a trained doctor.
Where can I get help?
Call 000 for fire, police & ambulance
Support for people aged 14 – 25
1300 659 467
Support for people affected by suicide
13 11 14
Crisis help and suicide prevention
1800 55 1800
Support for people aged 5 – 25
1800 737 7328
Help for domestic violence and abuse
1800 184 527
Help for LGBTQI people and their families
(02) 9382 4530
Help for depression and bipolar disorder
1800 650 890
Support for young people
1300 845 745
Help for people suffering from grief
1300 22 46 36
Help for depression, anxiety and suicide prevention
1300 78 99 78
Help for men with relationship & other issues
International help lines:
Suicide prevention, Suicide.org
International Association for Suicide Prevention
Depression, anxiety, suicide prevention
List of suicide crisis lines