Mental Health has been increasing in individuals over the past several decades. It is important when diagnosing a person with mental health to have an accurate understanding of their situation. Being able to find out the symptoms a person is experiencing, background information, history, and other diagnosed illnesses that the person may also have is important. A licensed Psychiatrist will need to evaluate and test a person to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatments is given.
In regards to mental illness it is important for a Doctor or Psychiatrist to be able to determine if a person is competent or is not. It is important if a person is mentally able to understand, comprehend, and utilize that information accordingly. The components that declare if a person is competent and understands or is not competent of the situation. The levels of competency can change over time and not everybody’s’ levels will stay the same throughout their life.
“There are four areas that are observed when determining if a person is competent”. The first area is if the person is understanding the discussion going on in the room. The second area is whether the individual appreciates the information being shared. The third area is if the individual can put forth reason, and converse about the discussion taking place. The fourth area that is observed and determined is choosing. Can the person make a choice and have rational reason for the choice that was picked.
When a Psychiatrist is wanting to confirm whether a person is competent they can check the four areas in making their decision. If a person can understand what is going on, can show appreciation, converse and make rational choices or decisions then the person is competent. The courts can also examine different areas of competency for an individual. People can be competent at different levels, but they will be considered competent. Many of the decision for competency is in regards to a person in a criminal trial. A Psychiatrist can examine the individual and test for competency. It is advised to have the examiner also be in the field of forensic examination as well.
An exam to determine mental understanding will focus on emotional, cognitive, and perceptual assessment of the brain. In order for an examiner to determine a person’s mental status they will need to listen, observe, and ask questions. The emphasized areas focused for a Mental Status Exam is appearance, speech, sensory, cognitive, emotional, perceptual, rhythm, behavior, thoughts and comprehension. The MSE evaluation will determine an individual’s judgement and interpretation cognitive ability,
The MSE offers a positive exam to determine if a person is competent enough to understand, communicate, and make rational decisions and choices without assistance from other people. It is very important for this type of exam to be done within the patient spectrum. Patients who take medication need to be competent enough to take their medicine properly and accurately.
A person’s mental state is very important to be aware of in today’s society. IF a person is not proven whether he is competent and in reality is not should not be allowed to by a weapon. Then take that weapon and shoot up a building or school. A Mental State Exam should be given more often for people who may not be mentally stable or competent at that time.
The Mental State Exam focuses on the responses that are received from various parts of the brain, and reactors. The information the test can tell is if a person is competent enough to take care of himself or be alone. It will also tell if a person is competent when a crime was committed. There are many reasons a persons’ mental status can be questioned. It is better to know if a person is capable of hurting themselves, or is not in the mind set to know right from wrong. Than to not know and that person hurt someone or themselves. It is a good idea to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are not mentally competent to have one.
Conney, R. (2014). Mental State . Competency and Mental Status, 1-31.