Who is a mental health professional, and how can they help? This page provides an overview, and resources for finding mental health providers in your area.
Who is a Mental Health Professional?
A mental health professional is someone who can help people get relief from mental health conditions, and find ways to improve mental wellness and resiliency. They may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, psychiatric nurse, or counselor with mental health training. You may find these professionals in emergency departments, hospitals, clinics, schools, community and religious centers, and in private practices.
How Can a Mental Health Professional Help?
If you feel unhappy, depressed, anxious, fearful, moody, or in need of emotional help, a mental health professional can help you to better understand your problems and, with time, to feel better.
Mental health professionals have specialized training to identify and understand problems that may be causing you discomfort or putting you at risk, and also in helping people with a variety of mental disorders. They can prescribe medicine, or can connect you with someone who can determine whether you need medication.
They are trained to offer an objective, independent viewpoint, and can help you to connect with other professionals and specialists, if needed.
How Do I Find Mental Health Care?
Ask your primary care physician, pediatrician or ob-gyn for a referral. Students can also refer to on-campus counseling centers or health centers, even a guidance counselor. Additional mental health professionals may be found in emergency departments, hospitals, clinics, community centers and private practices.
Mental Health Resources
The links below may be helpful in finding mental health providers in your area, along with more information about choosing the right provider for you. We also offer general suicide prevention resources as well as resources focused on supporting individuals in underrepresented communities.
Substance Use Problems
Republished with permission from AFSP.org