Mental health care is an evolving area of health care, one that can be confusing to many people.
It’s often a grey area where you can’t see the distinction between mental illness and depression.
So here are some tips for navigating the mental health landscape:1.
Get some mental health training.
Mental health training is important, especially for people who are in mental health crisis.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers some mental illness training, and some health providers also offer mental health information, but it’s often offered in a small, informal setting.2.
Know what you can ask about.
Ask yourself, “Do I want to know about what’s going on in my life, and am I interested in learning about it?”
If you can, ask about your feelings and thoughts about a person or situation.3.
Talk about it.
Talk with someone about the issues and the options you have, whether it’s with a counselor or by yourself.4.
Ask a mental health professional.
Ask for a mental illness diagnosis and to provide a referral.5.
Keep in touch.
Try to stay in touch with people you know or have a relationship with.
They can offer some help in figuring out what’s happening and how to best help you.6.
Talk to someone in your church or other faith community.
Talk regularly with people who might be struggling with mental health, and you can talk about the issue in the context of a church-related event.7.
Learn about a counselor.
Most mental health professionals are trained to help people who have mental health problems, but they can also offer advice and support.8.
Know your rights.
Many states have laws that address mental health.
Some states have special laws about how mental health issues are handled, and many states require mental health providers to report serious problems.9.
Contact a support group.
If you need help or want to seek out support, contact a support community.
Many support groups are free, or, if you are not able to attend a support program, you can call 1-800-273-8255.10.
Ask your doctor.
Find out about the options available to help you, and whether they are covered under state laws.11.
Seek help for yourself.
Talk, write, or record your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Take the time to talk with someone who understands your needs and desires.
This might mean talking to a counselor, psychologist, or social worker.
If your therapist is not a licensed mental health counselor, they can provide you with a referral and help you find the support you need.12.
Call your local hospital or clinic.
Find support and information there.
Call ahead to find out what services are available.13.
Contact an emergency room.
Talk openly with someone from your community about your mental illness, and seek care if you think you might need it.
If it’s too late to seek help, call 911.