First, if you or someone you know has a mental health emergency and needs immediate help, please dial 911.
If you’re feeling suicidal, call this hotline: 1-800-273-TALK, or text HOME to 741741. You can also visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to connect with someone online immediately.
It’s imperative that you speak with someone as soon as possible, and these are excellent resources that offer zero judgment.
If this isn’t an emergency and you’re simply testing the waters on getting help because you’re feeling out of sorts or recognize something isn’t right, there is a lot out there. It can be so hard to take that first step, but the good news is that you already have by reading this. We are so proud of you.
There are some great options to get the help you need, and we’ll discuss them below. For now, take a moment to breathe deep and think about what you need.
Finding the Help You Need
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a lot of helpful information about this. They mention that treatment usually comprises two things: therapy and medication. They also understand that not every therapist is a perfect fit. Therapy only works if you feel comfortable with your provider, but the recent boom in mental healthcare has resulted in more accessible healthcare for people in need. Gone are the days when you must seek a therapist close to your house. Instead, teletherapy has broadened the horizons astronomically, allowing you to reach out across the country if need be for someone you feel comfortable working with.
On the NIMH website, they’ll walk you through how to talk to your primary physician about your mental health and how to find a good fit after you get a referral. They also discuss strategies for talking with your insurance company, if you have one, and looking up programs by state. If you’re uninsured, they even list all the federal programs you can look to for help.
Beyond that, they go a step further with this helpful PDF titled “Taking Control of Your Mental Health.” At the end of the day, that’s what your treatment will be about, taking control of your own mental health and being proactive in the process. If you have questions or want to read about common mental health issues, they have an entire subsection devoted to informing people about the different types of mental health disorders and their treatments. It covers everything from anxiety to traumatic events, allowing you to process the information at your own pace.
As we said before, we are so proud of you for taking this first step. Even considering it is an amazing achievement and we hope you have many more in the future. Just know you are not alone, and many of us have been here. Remember, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and others about what you need so you can get to where you want to be.