A mental health intake form is an excellent way to discover crucial information about the patient before the first appointment (although they can also be used as a guide during the intake session). In addition to providing information on the client's past and life changes, intake forms provide incredibly significant insights for you to structure the counseling sessions and future approach.
If you want to streamline your intake process, implementing intake forms will be of great help. So let's go over the main elements to keep in mind so you can draft the perfect form and gather all the important client data in the most professional way.
Note: With Bonsai, you can draft professional mental health intake forms and any other onboarding document you need. Plus, our all-in-one product suite offers end-to-end business solutions including invoicing, payments, taxes and accounting. Come on board, we've got you covered.
Essential Elements to Include in Your Patient Intake Forms
While the specific questions used by mental health professionals vary, there are some critical components you must not forget in order to obtain all of the necessary information before or during the initial appointment. Let's take a closer look at this important data so you can draft a comprehensive yet simple intake form and provide the best care to your patients.
Start your mental health intake questionnaire by gathering the patient's contact information and any other necessary details so that you may get in touch with them during the counseling/therapeutic process. You can include a short privacy clause to ensure you will protect the client's personal information. Here are the basic details the patient must fill out without exception.
- First and last name
- Phone number (work, home, or cell)
- Billing/Physical address
- Email address
- Emergency contact information (full name, phone number, relationship)
- Insurance details
- Preferable methods of communication
You must ask the potential client a series of questions to determine why they are looking for therapy and what they want to achieve. This will help ensure the services you provide are suitable for the patient's needs and you can plan your sessions as needed. Here are some of the aspects you should evaluate in this section.
- Previous experiences with mental health professionals (outcomes, reasons for ending the process, etc...)
- Counseling/therapy goals (decision-making improvement, behavioral change, overcoming addiction, etc...)
- Recent or relevant life transitions affecting their current situation.
- Main reason for seeking help.
This section will be of great help for you to provide the best diagnosis to your clients and establish an appropriate course of treatment. Ask potential patients to be open and honest about their previous medical/mental health history, treatments, family background and any other elements you find relevant for your practice. Here are some specific topics to focus on.
- Current prescription medications
- Background of trauma or abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual)
- Previous mental health diagnoses, history of substance misuse, and the type of therapy received.
- Pre-existing conditions
- Diagnosis and treatment of any family members who have previously had mental health illness.
Create the Perfect Mental Health Intake Form With Bonsai
If you're ready to draft your own mental health intake forms, use Bonsai's client form builder to save time and do it like a pro. Our forms can be fully customizable so you can add as many questions as you need, select your preferred answer format and even add your own branding elements. Once you're done, you can share your intake forms directly with clients via email, URL link, or have them embedded to your business website to generate more leads.
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