Where to Turn for Mental Health
It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious now and then. But it’s time to call for help
if emotional issues last for a long time and interfere with your life, your job, or
your personal relationships.
With all the mental health resources
and effective treatments available these days, you don’t need to suffer and wonder
wrong. Education and awareness have done much to erase the stigma once attached to
illness. Still, many people don’t seek help for mental health needs.
Mental conditions are real. They can be life-threatening. But they’re also common
and very treatable. How do you know you need help? As with many physical health problems,
change is the key. If you have a marked and persistent change in personality, mood,
or eating or sleeping habits, that’s a sign something may be going on.
Symptoms to look for
These are other warning signs:
Feeling unable to cope with your day-to-day problems, work assignments, or usual household
Being overwhelmed by a deep sense of sadness, hopelessness, or helplessness
Having extreme mood swings, from high or hyper to down in the dumps
Withdrawing from people and normal activities
Believing things that are not true or hearing voices that are not there
Having thoughts or memories that you can’t get out of your head
Abusing alcohol or drugs
Getting very angry or acting violently
Having thoughts about suicide or hurting someone else
Having a plan of how you would commit suicide
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s better to get treatment sooner than later.
These are warning signs that you definitely need help.
Make the call
Get help right away any time you
think you might hurt yourself or someone else. Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or
local crisis center. Or search the internet for the numbers of emergency mental health
treatment facilities near you.
Last, if you are in an immediate
state of crisis, it’s best to go to a hospital emergency room for temporary help.
There, healthcare providers will also be able to tell you where and how to get more
Your healthcare provider knows you and likely will
notice any changes in your mood or personality. Your healthcare provider can also
rule out possible physical reasons for your symptoms.
Employee assistance programs (EAP). If your company has an EAP, ask for a
referral to an appropriate provider or treatment program in your community.
Community mental health centers. These organizations give counseling and
other services on a sliding-fee scale, based on your income.
On-site mental health professionals give immediate evaluation and
Support and self-help groups. Alcoholics Anonymous and the National
Alliance on Mental Illness are examples of peer and family support groups that
meet both online and in person.
Word-of-mouth referrals. These can come from friends or family.
Psychiatrists or medical healthcare providers. These
professionals can give counseling and medicine.
Psychologists. These professionals have doctorate degrees. They
specialize in psychotherapy and human behavior.
health nurse practitioners.
These professionals have advanced degrees.
They can give counseling and medicine.
Licensed clinical social workers
These are professionals with a master’s degree who are trained in
one-on-one and group psychotherapy. They help people deal with a variety of mental
health and daily living problems.