Clients to mental health clinics are usually not admitted arbitrarily. The process usually consists of an initial interview with a community worker or a mental health professional. If a client is considered in need of residential or out-patient treatment at a mental health clinic, an extensive history of the mental illness will then be recorded. Such assessments will also include interviews with other doctors and family physicians who have noted the onset and progress of the ailment.
The staff at mental health clinics usually consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, and support personnel who are specially trained. The scope and activities of mental health clinics in America generally falls under the purview of the CMHC (Community Mental Health Centers). This body issues licenses to clinics and centers for the practice of mental health-related treatment.
Considering that mental health crises do not always announce themselves in advance, a mental health clinic or center usually offers twenty-four-hour emergency services. These include inpatient hospital referral, since many cases are diagnosed in hospitals while the client is under treatment for other health problems.
Mental health problems affect people from all age groups, and American mental health clinics also offer services specifically for the aged as well as children and adolescents. The reasons that commonly lead to a referral for elderly persons range from senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease to problems related to chronic alcohol abuse. Mental health problems typical to the aged fall under the category of geropsychiatric medicine.
Teenagers and young adults often find themselves in need of mental health services because of substance abuse, inherited mental problems, and Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD).
The services available at mental health clinics necessarily include group therapy, individual and family counseling, and a social awareness cell. The latter would be staffed by personnel who could explain the various issued surrounding metal health in layman's terms to clients and their families. They are also an integral part of the evaluation process.