If you’re feeling like you need some help with your mental health, know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources out there to help you get the care and support you need. Here’s how to find mental health help when you need it.
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Introduction: Why it’s important to seek help
It’s important to seek help for mental health for a number of reasons. Mental health is essential to our overall well-being. It’s how we think, feel, and behave. It also affects how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health disorders are common—nearly one in five adults in the United States lives with a mental illness—but they’re often left untreated. Many people don’t seek help because they don’t think their symptoms are serious enough, or they’re embarrassed or afraid of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Others don’t realize that they have a problem or don’t know where to turn for help.
But getting treatment is important. Mental illness can get worse if it’s not addressed, and it can lead to problems with work, school, and relationships. People who have severe mental illness may also have other physical health problems. But with treatment, most people with mental illness can manage their symptoms and live productive lives.
Warning signs that you may need help
It can be difficult to tell when someone is dealing with mental health issues. Sometimes, people with mental health issues look and act like everyone else. However, there are some warning signs that you may need help.
If you experience any of the following, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional:
-You feel hopeless or helpless.
-Your eating or sleeping habits have changed.
-You self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.
-You have lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy.
-You withdraw from friends and family.
-You have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
-You feel like your life is out of control.
If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, please reach out for help from a mental health professional or support group in your area.
How to talk to your doctor about your mental health
It’s important to remember that you are not alone if you are struggling with your mental health. In fact, one in five adults in the United States has a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
If you think you might need help, the first step is talking to your doctor. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to remember that your doctor is there to help you.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this conversation:
-Be prepared to answer some questions about your symptoms and how they’re affecting your life.
-Be honest about what you’re going through. Your doctor can’t help if they don’t know what’s going on.
-Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is your health and you have a right to know what is going on.
-If you feel like you need more help than your doctor can provide, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral to a mental health professional.
When to seek professional help
It’s normal to feel down or upset sometimes, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of stress or a big life change. But if your mood stays low for weeks at a time and is impacting your everyday life, it could be a sign of depression. Other warning signs include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, self-esteem, and interests. And if you’re having suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.
If you’re not sure whether you need professional help, consider taking a self-assessment quiz, like this one from the National Institute of Mental Health. Or talk to someone who knows you well and can give an objective opinion, like a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor.
If you decide to seek professional help, there are a few different types of mental health providers to choose from.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. They can prescribe medication and also provide talk therapy.
Psychologists have PhDs or PsyDs in psychology and can also provide talk therapy.
Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) have master’s degrees in social work and can provide talk therapy.
Counselors have at least a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and can provide talk therapy.
How do you know which type of provider is right for you? Start by considering what type of treatment you’re looking for—medication only, talk therapy only, or a combination of both. Then narrow your search to providers who offer that type of treatment and who also specialize in treating people with your particular concern—like anxiety or depression. When you contact a provider’s office, ask whether he or she has experience treating people with your problem and whether he or she uses the type of treatment you’re looking for.
You can also search for providers through online directories like the American Psychiatric Association’s Find a Psychiatrist tool or the American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator tool
How to find a mental health professional
There are many ways to find a mental health professional. You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral, search online directories, or ask family and friends for recommendations.
It’s important to find a mental health professional who is a good fit for you. Consider whether you prefer a male or female provider, what their credentials are, whether they have experience treating people with your specific concern, and whether they accept your insurance.
Once you have a list of potential providers, call their offices and ask about their availability, appointment availability, payment methods, and cancellation policies. You can also ask if they offer a free consultation to see if you feel comfortable with them.
How to pay for mental health services
There are a few different ways to pay for mental health services. You can pay out of pocket, use your insurance, or find a sliding scale clinic. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to do some research before you decide which one is right for you.
Paying out of pocket is often the most expensive option, but it also gives you the most control over your treatment. You can choose any provider you want, and you don’t have to worry about whether or not your insurance will cover them. If cost is a major concern for you, though, there are a few ways to make paying out of pocket more manageable. You can look for providers who offer sliding scales or payment plans. You can also see if your job offers any kind of mental health benefits that would reimburse you for some or all of the cost of therapy.
Using your insurance to pay for mental health services is often the most affordable option. However, it can be complicated to figure out what your insurance will and won’t cover. It’s also important to keep in mind that your insurance company may have a list of approved providers that you have to choose from. If you want to see someone who isn’t on that list, you may have to pay out of pocket.
Sliding scale clinics are a good option if you don’t have insurance or if you want to see someone who isn’t covered by your insurance plan. These clinics charge based on your income, so they can be very affordable. However, they often have long waiting lists and their availability may be limited in some areas.
No matter which option you choose, make sure you do some research beforehand so that you know what to expect and can find the best possible care for your needs.
What to expect from mental health treatment
When you are seeking mental health treatment, there are a few things you can expect. First, your mental health professional will ask you about your symptoms and concerns. They will also ask about your medical history, family history of mental illness, and any medications you are currently taking. Next, they will conduct a physical examination to rule out any physical causes for your symptoms. Finally, they may order some tests, such as a blood test or MRI, to rule out any other possible causes for your symptoms.
How to get the most out of therapy
If you’re considering therapy, congratulations! You’ve taken an important step in taking care of your mental health. Therapy can be extremely helpful in managing mental health conditions and maintaining good mental health.
There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of therapy:
-Be open and honest with your therapist. It can be difficult to talk about personal issues, but it’s important to be as honest as possible with your therapist. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on.
-Be patient. Change takes time, and it’s important to give therapy a chance to work. It may take a few sessions to get comfortable with your therapist and start seeing results.
-Do your homework. In between sessions, there may be things you’re asked to do, such as reading articles or practicing relaxation techniques. It’s important to do these things, as they will help the therapy be more effective.
If you’re not sure if therapy is right for you, consider talking to your doctor or a mental health professional about other options.
How to cope when treatment doesn’t work
If you or someone you know is in crisis, it’s important to get help immediately. Sometimes, however, treatment doesn’t work the way we want it to. Maybe it isn’t enough to prevent a crisis, or maybe the person we’re worried about isn’t ready to seek help. If you find yourself in this situation, there are still things you can do to support your loved one and yourself.
Where to turn for more help
If you’re feeling like you need more help than you can get from self-care or therapy, there are a few places you can turn. Here are a few options for getting more mental health support:
1. Your doctor or primary care provider: If you’re already seeing a doctor for physical health concerns, they may be able to provide additional support or refer you to a mental health specialist.
2. A mental health specialist: If you don’t have a regular doctor, or if your doctor is not able to provide the level of support you need, you can seek out a mental health specialist. These professionals can provide therapy and/or prescribe medication.
3. A crisis center: If you’re in crisis and need immediate help, there are crisis centers available in most communities. These centers provide 24-hour phone support as well as in-person support and resources.
4. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This free, 24-hour hotline provides confidential support for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone who can help.