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Questions whānau can ask mental health services.

Here are some questions which may be helpful to ask at your next appointment. 

You can download and print a copy of these notes to take with you.

About the Diagnosis

What illness does our loved one have?

If a diagnosis has not been made what are the possibilities?


If a Diagnosis has been made

What signs and symptoms suggest this?

What is known about the cause of this illness?

What is likely to happen in the future?  Will it get better or worse?

Where can we get written information about this disorder?


About the Assessment

Are there any tests that might be needed?

What tests have already been done?

Are there any physical problems that have been discovered?


About Treatment and Care

What are the aims of care & treatment?

Who will be involved in our loved ones’ care?

How often will our loved one see the psychiatrist?

What is the plan for treatment?

How long do you anticipate treatment will last?

Is psychological treatment available such as Cognitive Behaviour Treatment?

What happens if our loved one refuses treatment?


The Whānau/Family and Treatment

Will the whānau/family be routinely involved in discussions about our loved one’s treatment?

What can we do to help?

Are there any local self-help or carers support groups?


Getting Help

Who is our key contact in the treatment team?

How can we get in touch with the psychiatrist?

Who do we contact if we are worried about something?

Who do we contact in an emergency?

How do we get a second opinion?



What medication is to be used?

What are the benefits of this medication?

Why have you chosen this particular drug?

What are the possible side effects of this medication?

Will our loved one take this drug for the rest of his/her life?

Are there any other drugs needed to control the side effects?

What signs might mean the dose needs to be changed or the side effects are too much?

What will happen if our loved one stops taking the medication?

Do you have any written information about the medication?


Hospital Treatment

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hospital treatment?

What hospital will our loved one go into?

What arrangements will be made for the care of our relative after leaving hospital?


*Take a pen and paper with you to take notes.

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