Where can you go for mental health help?
Selecting a location on where to go for help typically depends on the individual who is experiencing the symptoms and the degree of his or her condition. Here is a list of places to seek help where you can find someone you are comfortable talking to below:
- Your health department's mental health division
- Mental health Organizations (National Alliance on Mental health (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), etc.)
- A referral from your primary care physician
- Educational consultant or school counselors
- Marriage and family counselors
- Child guidance counselors
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Hotlines, crisis centers, or the emergency room
Types of Mental Health Professionals:
Psychiatrist: Someone who has a state license and is board eligible or certificated by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. This individual is a medical doctor with special training in diagnosing and treating many common mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorders. Like other medical doctors, they are qualified to prescribe medications and provide a comprehensive treatment plan to help treat their patient.
Psychologist: A psychologist is someone with a doctoral degree in psychology from an acredited doctoral program and has two years of supervised professional experience including a year long internship from an approved internship. These individuals are qualified to make diagnoses as well as provide individual and group therapy. Some psychologists also have credentialing as a health service provider in psychology. The most common forms of therapy they provide is talk therapy or psychotherapy.
Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist: Like a psychiatrist, these individuals also require a medical degree and require special training with diagnosis and treating emotional and behavioral problems specifically within child and adolescents. They also prescribe medications and provide treatment options to help with the symptoms. They should also have a state license and be board eligible or certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Clinical Social Worker: These counselors are experienced in diagnosing individuals with mental health disorders and is qualified to provide group or individual counseling. They typically have a masters degree in social work from an accredited graduate program and should be state licensed according to each state's qualifications and may be a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
Licensed Professional Counselor: These individuals are counselors who have a masters in psychology, counseling, or another related field from an accredited graduate program. Like clinical social workers, they are also trained to make diagnoses and provide individual or group counseling. These individuals are usually state licensed depending on each state's set of qualifications.
Mental Health Counselor: These individals are also trained to make diagnoses and provide individual or group counseling with a masters degree; however, these individuals typically have several years of additional supervised clinical work experience. State licensing is also required to practice as a mental health counselor.
Nurse Psychotherapist: Nurse psychotherapists are registered nurses who are trained in providing care in psychiatric and mental health settings. These individuals are able to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. These indivudals require certification and state licensing.
Marital and Family Therapist: These specialized therapists are counselors with a masters degree who have undergone special education and training that tailors to marital and family therapy. Like most mental health professionals, they can also diagnose and provide group or individual counseling. These individuals require completing of certain hours of experience as well as having a state license.
Pastoral Counselor: These members are part of the clergy and has training in clinical pastoral education. They are typicall qualified through the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor: These counselors have special training in alcohol and substance abuse and can provide specialized training for these population of individuals. They are qualified through through state licensure.
Through the encounters with these professionals, you should feel relief from the symptoms that are affecting your life through strenghtening you self-assurance and having a greater ability to make decisions on your own and feel more comfortable in your relationship with others. If you are thinking about suicide, and need more urgent and immediate help, chat with a suicide lifeline which is avaiable 24/7 across the United States by calling this number: 1-800-273-8255 or visiting this website: suicidepreventionlifeline.org.