Psychiatric Evaluations

North Star

For Children & Adolescents


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 children in the United States between ages 2 and 8 years has been diagnosed with a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. Additionally, an analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2019 found that 1 in 6 youth in the U.S. between ages 6 and 17 has a treatable mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. What is most alarming is that the analysis also found that approximately half of these youth had not received treatment or counseling from a mental health professional within the past year.

Psychiatric Evaluation Services for Children

The Evaluation Process

A psychiatric evaluation is a comprehensive assessment conducted by a mental health professional (usually a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant) to evaluate an individual’s mental and emotional well-being. The evaluator will gather information about an individual’s symptoms, current mental status, life circumstances, and overall functioning. This process allows for the diagnosis of mental health disorders and the development of appropriate treatment plans.

1. Clinical Interview

The clinical interview is a major component of the psychiatric evaluation. During the clinical interview, the psychiatrist engages in a conversation with the patient, develops rapport, and gathers a wealth of information. This information includes a detailed account of the patient’s symptoms, as well as his or her medical, psychiatric, family, and psychosocial history. Sometimes, the psychiatrist will also talk with family members, friends, or previous treatment providers to collect additional details and perspectives. This collateral information helps the psychiatrist obtain a more complete understanding of the patient and his or her needs.

2. Mental Status Examination

The psychiatric evaluation also includes a mental status examination. The goal of the mental status exam is to obtain a “snapshot” of the patient’s overall mental and emotional state at the time of the interview. The psychiatrist will make numerous observations about the patient’s presentation throughout the evaluation. Such observations will include details about appearance, behavior, movement, speech, language, mood, affect, thought process, thought content, perception, orientation, and cognition. 

3. Treatment Plan

Once all the pertinent information is obtained and reviewed, the psychiatrist will complete a risk assessment, make appropriate diagnoses, and develop a treatment plan. The psychiatrist will assess the patient’s current and chronic risk of harm to self and others based upon the history provided. If the patient’s history of symptoms is consistent with a mental health disorder, a diagnosis will be assigned. The patient’s treatment plan may include psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle modifications, or a combination of these interventions. Depending on the needs of the patient, treatment may occur in an outpatient setting or at a higher level of care, such as an inpatient facility or partial hospitalization program.
At North Star Psychiatry, we offer psychiatric evaluations, which can be completed by Dr. Rogers or a nurse practitioner on our team. The nurse practitioner collaborates with Dr. Rogers and reviews all cases with him on a regular basis. Dr. Rogers closely supervises the nurse practitioner and provides guidance whenever needed to ensure that patients are receiving the highest caliber of care available.