Why Talk To A Professional

Because your mental health deserves expert care. In a world where stress, anxiety, and life’s challenges can feel overwhelming, our team of experienced therapists is here to be your compass in the storm. Please don’t go through these struggles alone; let us help you find your way to calmer shores. Connect with us today, and together, we’ll work towards building a stronger and happier you.

Finding a Mental Health Professional

The first big step in dealing with a mental health issue can seem tough: finding a mental health expert. But having a trustworthy and knowledgeable mental health pro can be a huge help. It might take some time and effort to find the right person or team. Here’s a plan to help you find someone you feel comfortable and confident with:

Step 1: Figure Out Your Needs
People see mental health pros for different reasons. Are you looking for someone who can give you medication or someone to talk to?

Sometimes, you might see two different pros: one for medication stuff and one for talking and therapy. Think about this:

  • If you haven’t seen a regular doctor yet, it’s a good idea to get a checkup. Some physical problems can look like mental health issues. Even if you think you won’t need medical treatment, seeing a doctor and getting a diagnosis is important.
  • If you might need medication, it’s better to see a mental health specialist like a psychiatrist instead of just a regular doctor.
  • If you need help with emotions and thoughts, you should look for a therapist or counselor. These pros have their own areas of expertise, so you can find one who knows about your specific issue.
  • While you’re waiting for an appointment, you can also use other support groups, like those from AIGAS. Your local mental health authority can help you with things like housing and employment if you have more than one health challenge.

Step 2: Get Recommendations
If you have health insurance, call your insurance company. Ask for a list of pros in your area who take your insurance. Try to get at least three names and phone numbers. You can also ask about your insurance coverage. Here are some things to ask:

  • Can you make an appointment with a psychiatrist directly, or do you need a referral from your regular doctor?
  • How does your insurance cover therapy visits? It can be different from one insurance plan to another.
  • If you need help with something specific like addiction or an eating disorder, ask about doctors who specialize in that.

If you don’t have insurance, you can start by calling your local community mental health center. You can find their contact info in the phone book or at the library.

Step 3: Get in Touch
If calling makes you nervous, ask a friend or family member to help you make the call. Set up an appointment. If this is your first time getting help, let the person on the phone know so they can schedule enough time to talk.

If they say there’s a long wait for new patients, it’s still a good idea to make an appointment. Then, call the second and third people on your list. You can always cancel the first appointment if you find someone who can help sooner.

You can also ask to be on a cancellation waiting list. If someone cancels at the last minute, you might get an earlier appointment.

If you can’t wait for weeks or months, see your regular doctor as soon as possible to get some help until your full treatment team is ready. In an emergency, go to the hospital right away.

Step 4: Ask Questions
When you meet the doctor or therapist for the first time, you’re not just there for their advice. You’re also checking if they’re a good fit for you. It’s okay to ask questions. Be open about finding someone you can work with in the long run. Here are some questions to think about:

Do you feel comfortable with this person? No matter their reputation or education, the most important thing is if you can work well together. What’s your gut feeling? A mental health pro’s questions can sometimes be personal, but they shouldn’t make you uncomfortable. You should feel like this person is genuinely supportive.

  • How much education and experience does this person have?
  • Have they worked with people like you before? If so, for how long?
  • How will you work together to set goals and see how you’re doing?
  • What can you expect from working together?
  • How often will you meet, and can you call or email between appointments?
  • What kind of progress can you expect?

If you’re worried about paying for your visits, talk about it upfront. It’s a good idea to ask about sliding scale fees or discounts. Doctors and therapists appreciate knowing about these issues because consistent treatment is important.

If your provider must understand your culture, AIGAS can help you find the right one.

Step 5: Build a Connection
The first person you see might not be the right fit or may not have experience with your specific issue. In that case, move on to the next person on your list and keep looking.

Remember, you’re putting together a team of people who can support you in the long run. With some patience, you’ll find pros who listen to you, respect your point of view, and work with you to improve your overall well-being.