When you’re struggling with a mental health or substance use problem, it can be hard to get the help you need. With a surplus of information available online, it may be confusing to know what kind of help you might need, where to go or who to talk to. According to Cohen Veterans Network’s 2018 America’s Mental Health study, 46 percent of people who have never sought mental health treatment would not know where to go if they needed to seek services for themselves or a loved one.
But help is available and can make a difference. If you or someone you know is living with a mental health or substance use problem, consider reaching out to one of these resources:
- Don’t know where to start? Ask your primary care physician for help.
People with concerns about their mental health should turn first to their primary care physician. A primary care physician can determine a possible physical cause, recognize developing symptoms and provide various types of help, including information about the illness and suggestions for help or referral to a mental health professional.
- Find a mental health professional.
Licensed mental health professionals, such as clinical social workers, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists and licensed counselors specialize in treating mental health problems. To find a mental health professional:
- Use the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator from SAMHSA
- Get a recommendation from your primary care physician or ask friends and family if they can help.
- Ask your insurance company for local mental health professionals in your network.
- If you feel like you’re in crisis or are having suicidal thoughts, CONTACT SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY.
- Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800-273-8255.
- Contact a friend or family member and let them know you need help right away.
- If you feel that you are unable to keep yourself safe, call 911.
If you want to become a resource for your community, you can also take a Mental Health First Aid course. Mental Health First Aid provides information about common mental health and substance use conditions, treatment options and resources available and how to help those around you. Having information is the first step to recovery and choosing to #BeTheDifference.