In the USA, it is very common for people to get help and treatment from mental health services and professionals. Nobody should be embarrassed or afraid to seek treatment for themselves or a family member. Doctors and other medical professionals provide different kinds of mental healthcare. Learn about different mental health professionals, where to find mental health services near you, mental health services online and by phone, and services for resettled refugees and survivors of torture.
Mental health services and professionals
If you are experiencing a difficult time in your life, help is available for mental wellness.
Medical professionals can help with counseling, medicine, and other treatments. It helps to know what the different kinds of professionals do so you can choose the mental health services you need.
Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in mental illness. A psychiatrist can prescribe medicine for the treatment of mental illness along with other care. Psychiatrists often care for the most serious cases of mental illness.
Psychologists are not medical doctors. They diagnose and treat mental illness, but they do not prescribe medication. A diagnosis is a medical definition of what illness a person has. If a psychologist thinks that your diagnosis needs a psychiatrist, they will tell you.
Psychiatric and mental health nurses
Psychiatric and mental health nurses specialize in mental health and treat patients. They may work in their own medical offices or work for a psychiatrist. They can prescribe medications for a mental health illness.
There are other licensed professionals who treat mental health problems. They include counselors, therapists, and social workers. Some of them may focus on one area, such as marriage, family, substance abuse or trauma.
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Where to find mental health services near you
Mental healthcare providers work at hospitals, clinics, and private medical practices.
If you or someone in your family needs help with a mental health problem, ask your regular doctor. Your doctor’s office may have a mental healthcare professional.
If you do not have a doctor, you can ask a case manager or other support staff helping you resettle in the USA.
You can also find mental health services near you with FindHello. Write your address or city name and then choose “healthcare and counseling.”
Mental health services by phone and online
Even if you cannot get to mental health services near you, you can still get help. Here are some organizations that offer help everywhere in the USA:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a list of the best mental health helplines in the USA.
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America gives information about anxiety and depression and a directory of therapists.
Mental health services for resettled refugees and survivors of torture
Resettled refugees’ mental health needs may be different from those of other people. Past experiences with war, disaster, torture or the resettlement process can cause mental health needs. There are mental health resources for resettled refugees who are survivors of torture:
- You can ask your resettlement agency or health center to connect you to those services.
- You can find online resources on the website of the Center for Victims of Torture.
- You may find health and mental health services for refugees near you in FindHello. Write your address or city name and then choose “healthcare and mental health.”
Mental health workers will ask you questions about your past. They want to better understand your situation and determine how to help you. Talking about your experiences as a refugee may be upsetting or difficult, but understand that your mental health provider is there to help you improve your health. They will not force you to tell them anything. If you want to start by sharing just a little bit about your life, that is okay.
If you are having a hard time, finding mental health support can help you.