Many of us have seen the unfortunate cross-examination of the licensed mental health practitioner by Amber Heard’s attorney. This is an excellent example of the important role board-certified psychiatric-mental health nurses (PMH-BCs) play in helping attorneys prepare for trial when mental health issues are involved. Heard’s attorney was obviously not prepared to cross-examine a mental health professional- and it showed.
Mental health conditions and treatments are often misunderstood, even among healthcare practitioners. Physicians and nurses who do not specialize in psychiatry or mental health nursing receive the minimum training about mental health and practice standards.
Mental health symptoms are what practitioners use to diagnosis mental health disorders. Unlike medical conditions, you cannot run the typical diagnostic testing (bloodwork, imaging, biopsies, etc.) to determine what (if any) mental health diagnosis someone may have (though you should run medical tests to rule out any potential medical causes of psychiatric symptoms). This, alone, makes the process of diagnosing mental health disorders very complex. It also can raise questions as to the accuracy of the diagnosis.
For assistance with navigating and understanding complex mental health records, facts, and issues, make sure you consult with a legal nurse consultant who is also board-certified in psychiatric-mental health nursing.
Have questions? Leave a comment or contact Anne directly.