Getting more out of your consultation

Sometimes when seeing the doctor there is a lot of information to take in, and you or your family member or friend might forget to ask a question or forget what the answers were to some questions.

When you go to an appointment with the person you’re caring for, remember to take a:

  • list of any questions you would like to discuss with the treating mental health professional (it helps to write them down before going) see our downloads section for an example of some questions you might want to ask
  • notebook and pen so you can write down anything you want to remember
  • list of any behaviours and changes you have seen in your family member or friend

When you are at the appointment don’t be afraid to ask them:

  • to explain any terminology that you are unsure of or don’t understand
  • where to get additional support for the person you’re caring for
  • about different types of medication (oral medication or long-acting therapies)

It also helps to keep an on going record of day-to-day life. Paying attention to body language, behaviour, and what is being said and felt by your family member or friend can help paint a picture of what is going on. Sharing this information with the treating mental health professional can help them understand the full story and work towards the best outcome for the person you care about.

Some things to look out for:

  • Are they eating normally?
  • Are they bathing?
  • Do they bother to wear clean clothes?
  • Are they more suspicious then usual?
  • Are they drinking alcohol?
  • Are they smoking (cigarettes and/or cannabis)?
  • Are they using recreational drugs?
  • Are they taking their medication as prescribed?