If you are unsure where to go for help, talk to someone you trust who has experience in mental health.
You can contact a doctor, nurse, social worker, or religious counselor. Ask their advice on where to seek treatment. If there is a university nearby, its departments of psychiatry or psychology may offer private and/or sliding-scale fee clinic treatment options. Otherwise, check the Yellow Pages for phone numbers and addresses under:
- Mental health
- Social services
- Crisis intervention services
In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for a mental health problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.
Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.
- Family doctors
- Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
- Religious leaders/counselors
- Health maintenance organizations
- Community mental health centers
- Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
- University- or medical school-affiliated programs
- State hospital outpatient clinics
- Social service agencies
- Private clinics and facilities
- Employee assistance programs
- Local medical and/or psychiatric societies
How to get additional information & assistance from the government:
1. You can locate Mental Health Services in Your Area
Within the Federal government, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Services Locator for mental health and substance abuse treatment programs and resources nationwide. Click here to access the database.
2. Contact Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS is the federal agency responsible for administering the Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance (SCHIP) and several other programs that help people pay for health care. Click here for more information.
3. Look for Affordable Healthcare in Your Area
Within the Federal Government, a bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides a Health Center Database for a nationwide directory of clinics to obtain low or no-cost healthcare. Click here to find a Health Care Center in your area.
4. You can also locate National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Clinical Trials currently seeking participants in your area, if you’re interested.
NIMH supports research studies on mental health and disorders. You can participate, refer a patient, or learn about results of studies. Moreover, you can find specific studies being conducted across the U.S. that are currently recruiting participants. Click here for more information.
If you are in a crisis and need immediate help
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away:
- Call your doctor’s office.
- Call 911 for emergency services.
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.
Be sure to ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital.
If you have a family member or friend in a crisis
If you have a family member or friend who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help immediately from an emergency room, physician, or mental health professional. Take seriously any comments about suicide or wishing to die. Even if you do not believe your family member or friend will actually attempt suicide, the person is clearly in distress and can benefit from your help in receiving mental health treatment.
Remember, even the most severe case of Depression is a highly treatable disorders. Read Treatments For Depression, to get more information.
Catharine “Kate” is a Certified Administrator for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) and an Expert Senior Care Advisor. Kate’s grandmother battled Alzheimer’s Disease and Kate personally understands what millions of families are going through. Kate and her team are very passionate in empowering Seniors and their families by providing them with the Best Available Senior Care Options based on Senior’s care needs, preferred location and family’s budget.