Are you a young adult worried about your mental health? Perhaps your son or daughter is struggling and you want to investigate their options?
In either case, effective mental health treatment is available, but did you know that not all providers of psychotherapy can prescribe medications?
In this article, we’ll highlight the most important things to think about as you decide which treatment center is right for you or your loved one. Read On!
1. Primary Care Referral
A good first step is to contact your health insurance company and see if they can direct you towards their list of covered mental health service providers that are nearby. Start comparing provider fees if financial considerations are high on the list.
Next, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and tell them about your symptoms. They should be able to recommend a mental health treatment provider and make a referral or provide you with a list. Cross-check this list for insurance coverage.
2. Friend Recommendations
Ask those closest to you if they know of any good local mental health services. This could be friends, family, or perhaps someone within your church or community service.
If you don’t feel like you want to ask anyone you know for a referral, try contacting your local branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They are a great resource for navigating through service options and should be able to provide you with a list and/or pamphlets.
3. Further Research
You can also see if any services are offered through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a Student Health Center. Also, search the internet for services in your local area, for example, “rehab centers NJ” and make a list from there of the ones with good ratings.
Several directories list providers of mental health treatments include:
- American Medical Association
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
You also could look in your local phonebook listings or other community service booklets or websites.
4. Can They Prescribe Medications?
You’ll want to decide which type of mental health provider is best for you: a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor. Not all of them can prescribe medications, so if medication management is likely to be part of your treatment plan, they would need to work in coordination with an additional health professional who can.
Often, a psychiatrist is a good choice for a general referral because they can give a good overall assessment. Psychiatrists are doctors and graduates of medical school. Typically, they will have completed another four years of specialist training.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners may be part of the mental health treatment plan, which might include psychotherapy, medications, or both. As well as specializing in mental health, a psychiatrist may have an additional specialization, such as child or addiction psychiatry.
Psychologists are trained in science that involves thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. They can diagnose and treat many mental health disorders but may need to prescribe medications through another provider.
Therapists and counselors focus on improving mental health with psychotherapeutic treatments, and a variety of these are available, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. State law will vary regarding licensing and services being offered.
5. Check Qualifications
When you’ve got a list of doctors and medical centers, check for references and reviews. It’s a good idea to make sure there aren’t any malpractice or other legal suits against any of the providers on your list. See how many years they have been practicing and what education and training they have.
Look at their specializations and services offered and then compare practice information, such as open hours, costs, and session length. As you add more providers to your list, make sure to keep checking that they are covered under your medical insurance company.
6. Telephone Interview
Once you’ve checked out the background and qualifications of each provider you’re considering, make a shortlist and note down any questions you still have outstanding.
Call the numbers on the shortlist and ask them the same list of questions. You’ll start to get an idea of which ones seem more helpful and suitable for your personal needs. Ask if they are currently accepting patients and if so, ask if you can schedule a consultation to meet the provider.
At this point, it might be worth considering whether you (or your loved one) might prefer a male or female provider delivering your care. Since you will be forming a personal bond that involves sharing very private information, you must be comfortable with their gender.
7. First Impressions
When you attend the initial appointment, remember that in a way, you are interviewing them to see if they are a good fit to provide care to you or your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pay attention to how they respond to make sure you will be able to trust them.
Consider if their communication style is right for you – Are they too direct, cold, or do they have a tone of voice that makes you nervous? They should show interest in you and take your opinion into account while formulating a mental health treatment plan.
It’s a good idea to ask them if they’ve had many patients with your specific symptoms and if so, what was their treatment plan like? By asking this, you’ll get a good idea of what forms of therapies might be offered to you in advance.
Mental Health Treatments
We’ve run through some important considerations to think about before picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment. Mental health issues are distressing, for those personally affected and those who love them, but you don’t have to continue suffering.
If you’re looking for high quality care, we can help you, or your loved one build the foundations of a successful future. We are a New Jersey mental health treatment center with compassionate and dedicated treatment professionals.
Contact us today to learn more about treatment.