Thursday, April 10, 2014
Mental Health Evaluation Form
I surprised myself earlier today with my response to the following episode. I had to go to the health clinic -- this clinic is owned by (though they contract out) and a part of the institution where I'm employed. When I checked in at the front desk I was handed a form that asked questions having to do with my emotional and psychological state. I'm paraphrasing here but the questions, maybe about two dozen of them (maybe less) were along the lines of:
1. Have you had trouble sleeping?
2. Has your enjoyment of activities decreased in the past two months?
3. Have you had thoughts of suicide or self-harm in the past six months?
and so on in regards to depression, stress, bad dreams, thoughts of suicide, etc. Without thinking about it I said "This is quite a form, it's a bit odd" and the woman very nicely explained everyone gets the form, it's standard, no one sees it, etc. I said I understood all that but it still seemed odd and I wasn't going to fill it out. Later the doctor said she understood that and I was under no obligation to fill it out; the staff was not defensive or pushy in any way. They all explained very patiently that "no one will see this form," and "everyone gets this to fill out," and "it's done once a year," but my issue is: why? If I'm going in for a routine female related exam (pap, what have you) why in the world do I need to fill out a form about mental health? But I did think the whole thing odd -- if I do feel those things, in need of counseling etc. then of course I'll pursue that but to fill out a form like that "just because" seemed, well, odd.