Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

Getting the Help You Need for Your Mental Heatlh

Feeling sad occasionally or grieving a loss is common, but if you think you are fighting chronic mental health struggles, it is time to reach out to a professional. Below is a brief guide to finding the resources you need to start your mental health journey.

Date:   11/2/2021 10:51:59 PM   ( 9 mon ) ... viewed 65 times

Everyone faces mental health challenges at some point in their lives. Whether you are looking to take preventive action to protect your mental health or are looking for tools to treat issues that you already face, there are plenty of resources available to help you. Feeling sad occasionally or grieving a loss is common, but if you think you are fighting chronic mental health struggles, it is time to reach out to a professional. Below is a brief guide to finding the resources you need to start your mental health journey. 

Where Can You Go to Find a Provider?

You live in a digital age, and that means that mental health experts are just a click away. You can find everything from a therapist to a specialized ADHD doctor online. You can also find national hotlines for areas such as domestic violence, suicide prevention, substance abuse issues, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. 

There are even mobile apps that can give you direct access to providers that accept your insurance. They also generally work best for people without insurance by providing more affordable options for therapy. Apps like Worry Watch, Lantern, TalkSpace, PTSD Coach and IntelliCare can be downloaded for free. Most of them provide free assessment as well. 

What Type of Healthcare Provider Do You Need? 

Before you start looking into where you can find a provider, you should consider what type of provider you need. Sometimes you may even need more than one. You can start with your primary care physician, who can assess your symptoms and guide you to the right specialty.

First, what providers can diagnose and prescribe medication for a mental health condition? Read the list below.

  • A psychiatrist is the most obvious answer. They generally specialize in anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Their primary approach is typically to prescribe medication.

  • A psychologist is also trained to diagnose and treat the same mental health conditions as a psychiatrist, but they also work with people who suffer from learning difficulties, relationship issues, eating disorders and substance abuse. They routinely give psychological tests and can help manage symptoms with counseling. Some states allow them to prescribe medicine, but psychologists also work with other healthcare providers for treatment in states that do not.

  • A nurse psychotherapist has an advanced nursing degree. They are usually nurse practitioners (N.P.) or clinical nurse specialists. An N.P. can prescribe medicine and will most likely use a combination of medication and counseling to treat patients.

Most of the time, if you search for a provider online or through your insurance, you'll find that they have specializations. You can narrow down the type of provider you need based on recommendations from your doctor and a self-assessment of your own symptoms.

What Mental Health Experts Cannot Provide Medication?

Not all mental health struggles require medication as a treatment. Counseling alone is a viable option, and providers can range from niche topics to broad, general needs. Below are a few experts that can help without medication.

  • Peer specialists have personally experienced and recovered from specific mental health challenges and can help guide you through the same conditions.

  • Substance abuse counselors are trained to work with people who struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.

  • Veterans counselors offer counsel to military veterans, often struggling with issues such as PTSD.

  • Pastoral counselors are religious affiliates, such as priests, rabbis and imams, that are trained to be counselors and are often a more comfortable option for those that turn to religion for help.

  • Marital and family therapists can provide psychotherapy for couples and family systems. 

Never assume that your problem is too specific for anyone to understand. You can find someone who specializes in nearly every mental health problem and get the help you need.

The stigma that once plagued mental health struggles has long since been lifted. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It can be a process to diagnose and treat, but there is always help available. Reach out to experts whenever necessary. 

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