Mental Health Services: An Overview
Where to Go for Help
- Confusion or indecisiveness
- Extreme mood swings
- Social withdrawal
- Excessive worry or anger
- Substance abuse
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Hearing voices in your head
- Inability to cope with day to day routine
- Unexplained physical conditions
Points to Remember
Treatment Options: A Brief Summary
- Psychodynamic—The role of the past in shaping the present is emphasized to try to understand a person’s behavior (how people come to act and feel as they do, including the influences of which people are not aware).
- Behavioral—This type of therapy focuses on the patient's current behavior patterns rather than on early behavior patterns.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy—This is a blend of behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy. It focuses on changing a person's thinking and actions so that she is more adaptive and healthy.
- Humanistic—Also known as existential, experiential, or Gestalt therapy, humanistic therapy focuses on the immediate experience of the client.
- Antipsychotics (neuroleptics)
- Mood stabilizers
- Anti-anxiety (anxiolytics)
If You Have Private Insurance
If You Are Underinsured or Uninsured
for the uninsured includes:
- Medicare—a federal insurance program for people 65 years and above and some with disabilities under 65
- Medicaid—a federal and state insurance program that pays for healthcare for the poorest and most vulnerable Americans
- Community-based resources—Community mental health centers offer a range of treatment and counseling services. For people without private insurance, they generally require that you are a recipient of public assistance.
- Pastoral counseling—Your church or synagogue may offer counseling, often on a sliding-scale fee basis.
- Self-help groups—Groups give people the chance to learn about, talk about, and work on common problems. They are generally free and can be found in virtually every community.
- Sliding-scales—Many private practices offer sliding scales, so that individuals with financial need can still seek help. Always ask whether such an arrangement is available.
Asking for Help Is Not Easy
National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration http://www.samhsa.gov
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Health Canada Mental Health http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/mental/index-eng.php
About mental illness. National Alliance for Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform%5FYourself/About%5FMental%5FIllness/About%5FMental%5FIllness.htm. Accessed March 23, 2011
Different approaches to psychotherapy. American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/topics/therapy/psychotherapy-approaches.aspx. Accessed March 7, 2013.
How can I pay for psychotherapy? American Psycholological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy.aspx#. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Medication information. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://nmha.org/go/information/faq/medication-information/farcry/go/information/medication/medication-information. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Mental illness and the family: Recognizing warning signs and how to cope. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/mi-and-the-family/recognizing-warning-signs-and-how-to-cope. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Olfson M, Marcus SC, Druss B, Elinson L, Tanielian T, Pineus HA. National trends in the outpatient treatment of depression. JAMA. 2002;287:203-209.
Psychotherapies. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml. Accessed March 7, 2013.
Statistics. National Institute of Mental Health website. Availble at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml. Accessed March 7, 2013.
The number count: Mental disorders in America. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/07/2013 -