Availability, affordability, and accessibility have all improved for mental health and therapy over the past decade. Not only are you able to speak with therapists from around the world thanks to online therapy services, but many insurance plans have begun covering mental health consultations and treatments as well. Similarly, if a client is without insurance, many offices have payment plans that are developed for these situations.
While these advancements are great for the expansion of the industry, they don’t provide much encouragement for individuals that are still struggling to find the right option for their mental health care. When it comes to looking for the right therapist, plan of action, and treatment for any mental health concerns you may have, there are numerous resources that are available.
Visiting a Mental Health Expert
You can find a local mental health professional through your insurance database or an online search. By calling into the office, you can find out if they’re taking new patients, accept your insurance or have payment plans, and find a time that works within your schedule. In your area, you may find that there are therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric offices. The primary difference between these will be the ability to obtain a prescription if you’re in need of medication and the professional’s license and degree.
All experts are trained to treat concerns and discuss symptoms and treatment options for conditions like depression and anxiety, but not all individuals will be specialized in diagnosing or treating certain trauma-based or complicated grief conditions. Most online databases provide information on what a professional can treat and the office can often refer you to a specialist for areas they don’t cover.
Online counseling websites and therapy apps give you the opportunity to talk with a therapist via video sessions, phone calls, or chat service. Having a digital option is important for those with congested schedules, mobility restrictions, or a lack of local assistance. For most services, you’ll complete a digital mental health questionnaire that will pair you with an individual experienced in your needs.
Many online counseling services provide patients with resources and articles that can answer many common questions and concerns. If you’re unsure about what kind of assistance you may need, browsing through these articles can help you reference certain challenges and difficulties you’re facing. For a quick reference and more information on online counselor capabilities and expertise, you can visit the following: https://www.mytherapist.com/advice/counselors/.
Local Support Groups
You may be familiar with substance abuse support groups or group grief counseling in your area. However, there’s a wide variety of support groups that you can look for if you’re struggling with conditions like depression, eating disorders, or PTSD. These may be hosted by a local therapy office, university campus, or religious group, and you can usually find more information on their meeting locations and routines online.
Some people find it more helpful to be in a group setting when discussing their inner thoughts and emotions. With others sharing similar experiences, it can help develop a sense of comradery and remind you that you’re not alone in your experiences. It may be helpful to discuss with the group leader what kind of rules there are on engagement, responses, and the amount of time spent on a person’s experience so you can be prepared to listen and respond as others speak. These are often anonymous spaces where you can freely discuss your struggles and feelings without judgment.
If you’re going through a mental health emergency, it’s important to reach out immediately. Suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and sexual assault are all examples of crisis moments that need to be treated as soon as possible. These hotlines have trained volunteers and professionals available 24/7 that will listen to your situation and talk you through getting you the care you need. They can often connect you with local hospitals and support groups that can provide treatment and assistance when you’re ready. Here are a few national hotline numbers if you or someone you know are in need of immediate assistance:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673
An Option for Everyone
Having regularly scheduled sessions with a mental health professional is one way to have great mental health practices. Therapy is about more than diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. A therapist can also discuss general life advice, daily stressors and challenges, and provide guidance on major life decisions. Whether you’re looking for someone in your area or you need a flexible option for a busy schedule, there are options for you. Maintaining your mental wellbeing is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.