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mental health screenings at home - Support, sympathy and hand on shoulder in therapy for compassion, comfort and understanding of mental health. Closeup, people and counselling session with depression, stress and kindness with advice

Source: Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty

In the season where emotions are high and fun is at the forefront of the conversation it can be difficult to face tough emotions. The fast pace of the summer can often leave mental health struggles swept under the rug. Leaving your negative mental health symptoms unchecked, however, can lead to a worse outcome.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, unnecessary disability, functional impairment in day-to-day activities, substance abuse, and poor quality of life can come as a result. Relief comes when one actively participates in a treatment plan catered to their needs.

Whether you’re dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is provoked by a certain time of year, or managing ongoing symptoms, it’s imperative to keep your mental health in check.

SEE ALSO: Low-Cost Ways to Practice Self-Care & Maintain Your Mental Health

A trusted friend or healthcare provider may not always be available to help unpack your symptoms. Luckily, we are not without solutions. An easy, free tool to transition to a more liberated state of mind is a self-screening.

What are self-screenings you ask? Simply put, they’re audits of your thoughts and feelings, using evaluations to walk yourself from issue to resolution. This is integral to self-awareness and problem solving in everyday life and can be done as often as one would like.

There are two easy ways to perform a self-screening for mental health.

The first way to perform a self-screening for mental health is with question and answer. Prompting questions help to gauge the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the issue and bring relief.

Examples of questions to include are:

  • What do I feel? – Identifying an issue leads to identifying a solution.
  • Why do I feel this? – Some emotions go beyond surface level problems, but start by identifying the immediate trigger.
  • Can I solve this problem? – If you can, make a plan to work towards solving it. If not, seek resources for help.
  • What would make me feel better until the issue is resolved? – Finding healthy coping mechanisms are great ways to calm anxiety.

Secondly, self-screening for mental health issues can be done with at-home mental health tests.

According to Mental Health America, online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. The organization provides screenings for 13 different common conditions including depression, anxiety, and Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and tests can be taken in English or Spanish. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common, treatable, and recoverable.

Identifying a problem is the first step to solving it. Seeking a solution is the second, and is equally as important. A self-screening doesn’t negate the need for certified help. However, it can offer clarity on one’s symptoms, and lead to having a clear conversation with your healthcare provider, and ultimately, making an educated choice on what your treatment plan should be.

Making strides to fortify mental and emotional health is commendable. Your health affects your well-being but also that of those around. Doing the work necessary strengthens your life and community and will surely lead to a better future.

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How To Perform Mental Health Screenings At Home  was originally published on elev8.com