Finding the Right Mental Health Care for You
If you or someone you know may benefit from a counselor or mental health center, here are some questions and guidelines to help you find the right care.
Where Can I Go For Help?
Where you go for help will depend on who has the problem (an adult or child) and the nature of the problem and/or symptoms. Often, the best place to start is your local Mental Health Association. Check your Yellow Pages for a listing or contact the National Mental Health Association at 800/969-NMHA.
Other Suggested Resources
Your local health department's Mental Health Division. These services are state funded and are obligated to first serve individuals who meet "priority population criteria" for children and adults as defined by the state Mental Health Department. There may be waiting lists and not all individuals may be eligible for services. In some jurisdictions local funding is provided for additional services.
Which Mental Health Professional is Right for Me?
There are many types of mental health professionals. Finding the right one for you may require some research. Often it is a good idea to first describe the symptoms and/or problems to your family physician or clergy. He or she can suggest the type of mental health professional you should call.
Types of Mental Health Professionals
You Make the Call to the Mental Health Professional Now What Do You Do?
Spend a few minutes talking with him or her on the phone, ask about their approach to working with patients, their philosophy, whether or not they have a specialty or concentration (some psychologists for instance specialize in family counseling, or child counseling, while others specialize in divorce or coping with the loss of a loved one.) If you feel comfortable talking to the counselor or doctor, the next step is to make an appointment.
On your first visit, the counselor or the doctor, will want to get to know you and why you called him or her. The counselor will want to known what you think the problem is, about your life, what you do, where you live, with whom you live. It is also common to be asked about your family and friends. This information helps the professional to assess your situation and develop a plan for treatment.
If you don't feel comfortable with the professional after the first, or even several visits, talk about your feelings at your next meeting; Don't be afraid to contact another counselor. Feeling comfortable with the professional you choose is very important to the success of your treatment.
The Different Types of Treatment
Psychotherapy is a method of talking face-to-face with a therapist. The following are a few of the types of available therapy:
How Much Will Therapy Cost?
The cost of treatment depends on many factors including: the type of treatment, the therapist's training, where treatment takes place and your insurance coverage. The following is a description of typical treatment costs:
Am I Getting the Care I Need?
As you progress through the therapeutic process, you should begin to feel gradual relief from your distress. to develop self assurance, And have a greater ability to make decisions and increased comfort in your relationship with others. Therapy may be painful And uncomfortable at times but episodes of discomfort occur during the most successful therapy sessions. Mental health treatment should help you cope with your feelings more effectively.
If you feel you we not getting results, it may be because the treatment you are receiving is not the one best suited to your specific needs. If you feel there are problems, discuss them with your therapist. A competent therapist will be eager to discuss your reactions to therapy and respond to your feeling about the process. If you we still dissatisfied, a consultation with another therapist may help you and your therapist evaluate your work together.
What About Self-Help/Support Groups?
Self-help support groups bring together people with common experiences. Participants shoe experiences, provide understanding and support and help each other find new ways to cope with problems.
There are support groups for almost any concern including alcoholism, overeating, the loss of a child, codependency, grandparenting, various mental illnesses, cancer, parenting, and many, many others.
For more information contact you local Mental Health Association or:
National Mental Health Association
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Stigma Watch Line 800-696-NMHA
TTY line 800 433-5959
National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH)
Public Inquiries and Information Resources
5600 Fishers Lane, Rm 7C-02
Rockville, MD 20857
Call Ten Broeck Hospital at 502-426-6380 or 1-800-866-8876