Clinical Services

Clinical Assessments in TMH Environment

There are many things to consider when utilizing screening instruments and conducting assessments via TMH. Administering screening instruments in an engaging way via telemental health involves incorporating interactive and client-centered approaches to enhance the client’s experience and promote active participation. These approaches enhance the effectiveness of the assessment process and support meaningful therapeutic outcomes. Below are some strategies to consider.

    • Provide Clear Instructions: Start by providing clear and concise instructions to the client on how to complete the screening instrument. Offer guidance on the purpose of the assessment, the format of the questions, and any specific instructions for responding.
    • Use Visual Aids: Incorporate visual aids or multimedia elements to enhance engagement and comprehension. This could include presenting the screening questions using slides or graphics, or utilizing interactive features within the telecommunication platform.
    • Break Down Complex Concepts: Simplify complex concepts or terminology to make them more accessible to the client. Use plain language and provide examples or analogies to help illustrate key points.
    • Offer Real-Time Support: Be available to provide real-time support and clarification as needed during the administration of the screening instrument. Encourage clients to ask questions or seek clarification if they encounter any difficulties.
    • Encourage Reflection: Encourage clients to reflect on their responses and consider how they relate to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Create opportunities for clients to pause and explore their reactions to the screening questions.
    • Facilitate Discussion: Use the screening instrument as a springboard for meaningful discussion and exploration. Encourage clients to share their thoughts, feelings, and insights related to the topics covered in the assessment.
    • Incorporate Therapeutic Techniques: Integrate therapeutic techniques such as mindfulness exercises, grounding techniques, or deep breathing exercises to help clients stay present and engaged during the assessment process.
    • Personalize the Experience: Tailor the administration of the screening instrument to the individual needs and preferences of the client. Allow flexibility in how the assessment is conducted to accommodate different communication styles and preferences.
    • Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge and celebrate the client’s efforts and progress throughout the assessment process. Offer positive reinforcement and validation to motivate continued engagement and participation.
    • Follow Up with Feedback: Provide feedback and validation on the client’s responses to the screening instrument, acknowledging their insights and observations. Use the results of the assessment as a starting point for collaborative goal-setting and treatment planning.

TMH Screening and Assessment Resources

  • Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center uses this Telemental Health Program Screen to determine if a client should be referred for trauma-focused TMH services.
  • This document on Conducting Intakes and Assessments Using Telemental Health provides CAC-focused guidance on transitioning the intake and assessment process from an in-person encounter to a virtual one, including strategies related to preparing the client and caregiver, building trust and rapport, and conducting the clinical interview.
  • The National Children’s Alliance offers Evidenced-Based Assessment Training that trains clinicians in the use of specific standardized assessments to inform the delivery of mental health services to abused and/or traumatized children. 

Page Last Updated: June 2024

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