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Where to Get Help For Mental Health Problems

Great resources for obtaining help for mental health problems, including low-income assistance.

If unsure where to go for help, talk to someone you trust who has experience in mental health - for example, 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 Internet or the Yellow Pages under "mental health," "health," "social services," "suicide prevention," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses. 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 mental health 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

Additional Resources for Getting Information and Assistance:

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.

Locate NIMH Clinical Trials currently seeking participants.

Locate a Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center for a broad spectrum of healthcare services, including medical and rehabilitative, as well as readjustment counseling services after war. The Gateway to VA Healthcare also provides eligibility information, programs, and additional resources.

General Resources List

IF YOU ARE IN 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 Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

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.

In-depth information on suicide, suicidal thoughts.

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2007, March 6). Where to Get Help For Mental Health Problems, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/thought-disorders/schizophrenia-articles/where-to-get-help-for-mental-health-problems

Last Updated: June 11, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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