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 if they 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 what's wrong. Education and awareness have done
much to erase the shame once attached to mental 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? Change is the key as with many
physical health problems. If you have a marked and lasting change in personality,
mood, eating, or sleeping habits, 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 harm yourself
Feeling grouchy, unable to concentrate or sleep, and constantly worrying
It's better to get treatment sooner than later. if you have any of these symptoms.
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
988 or 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or your local crisis center. Or search the internet
for the numbers of emergency mental health treatment facilities near you.
It's best to go to a hospital emergency room for temporary help if you are in an immediate
state of crisis. There, healthcare providers will also be able to tell you where and
how to get more help.
Your healthcare provider. 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 confidential 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.
Crisis centers. On-site mental health professionals give immediate evaluation and treatment.
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
Mental 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