Integrated assessment involves gathering information from your client about substance use and mental health symptoms with the aim of understanding the frequency, severity and interaction of mental health and substance use disorders symptoms. Comprehensive assessment is an ongoing process and includes reports of past functioning; history of substance use and mental health symptom onset; and collateral information from medical records, loved ones, and past and current providers.

Clients may need time to open up about past difficulties. Building a strong therapeutic alliance is key to developing trust with your client. Revisiting topics like drinking, physical health concerns, and mental health symptoms over time can help both you and the client understand how all these factors are impacting overall wellness.

A helpful video demonstration of this type of assessment is available from the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center.