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How to Get Mental Health Help

Many people are hesitant to seek help for mental health issues, and they may not know where to turn. But it’s important to remember that getting help for a mental illness is just like getting treatment for any other health condition. The sooner someone gets help, the more likely they are to recover and live a healthy life.

There are many ways to get mental health help, but it is often easiest to start with a primary care doctor. They can check to make sure that other conditions are not the cause of symptoms and can refer you to a specialist.

You can also seek help from a psychiatrist, psychologist or professional counselor. These professionals often treat individuals with a combination of therapies, including medication, lifestyle changes and talk therapy. They can also refer you to other services such as group therapy or support groups, which can be an important part of treatment.

Most insurance plans cover a portion of the cost for mental health services. However, you might have to pay out-of-pocket for some of the costs if your plan has an annual cap on the number of visits or doesn’t cover specific providers. If you are worried about costs, try asking your therapist or psychiatrist to provide you with written statements that explain what they charge for their services and when. That way, you can take this information to your insurance company to find out whether there are any additional costs for treatments covered by your plan.

If your symptoms are severe or you are at risk of harming yourself or others, you may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. These facilities offer 24-hour inpatient care and can include partial or day hospitalization programs as well as residential treatment. They can also recommend brain-stimulation treatments, which are sometimes used to treat depression and are being studied in other mental illnesses.

Many community-based mental health centers offer low-cost or free services. You can also use online directories or locators to find therapists who specialize in your mental health concerns and are covered by your insurance plan. Some advocacy and mental health organizations have national online resources that can help you find a provider.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members, and consider reaching out to peer support groups such as Mind’s Side by Side. It’s a great way to connect with people who have similar experiences, and talking through your feelings out loud can be incredibly healing. It can also be helpful to talk to a person who has had a mental illness and can relate to what you are experiencing, or call a telephone or online listening service such as Mind’s infoline or Samaritans. You can also join an anonymous meeting, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, to meet with people who have had similar experiences. These meetings are usually held face to face or over the phone, and some are now available online.

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