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Your Health Care

Finding the Right Mental Healthcare for You

November 19, 2020

Your mental health is as important as your physical health, especially in 2020. You may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious due to recent events and unrest. Addressing these feelings and your mental state is essential. It can be difficult to know how to find the care you need, but doing so will result in a healthier, happier you.

1. Tips and considerations
Choosing the right care can be challenging. Starting your search online is a good place to begin. Check for resources and organizations, such as Mental Health America, that posts free assessments and tools. It is also helpful to start the conversation with friends and family who can recommend support. You can also check with your primary care doctor for a professional referral.

Take the time to reflect and acknowledge your feelings and consider the type of care you need. There are many kinds of mental health professionals with different specializations and capabilities. Some, such as psychiatrists, can prescribe medications as part of treatment. Some also specialize in certain age groups, disorders, and other fields.

Many services have moved online and offer convenient telehealth options. For example, LiveHealth Online offers both psychology and psychiatry assistance. Narrow down which factors are the most important to you when starting your search for the right care.

2. Finding the right fit
As you research, you will begin to form a clear understanding of your care needs. It is best to start with a shortlist of mental health professionals to contact. Consider your Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance plans and which mental healthcare services may be covered. Your insurance provider should be able to supply a list of approved doctors or therapists. If a doctor is not in your coverage, check payment plans to see if paying out of pocket is still an option for you. You can also ask your employer if they offer coverage for mental health services as part of your employee assistance program.

It is also good to think about what kinds of settings you will be comfortable in, such as a physical or virtual experience. Since the coronavirus outbreak, telehealth has expanded to offer on-demand care from home. Depending on the doctor or therapist, free or discounted telehealth trials may be available.

When you meet with a doctor, do not hesitate to ask many questions. It is important to get to know them to ensure they will be the right fit for your mental health needs. You want a professional you can be comfortable talking to about your emotions. It may take a few interviews to find the right match for a mental health professional, but this is normal.

You may also find you need to switch to someone new if you are not getting the results you need. Working with a mental health professional that you can be open with makes a big difference in your journey to better mental health. If you need immediate assistance or are in crisis, do not hesitate to use these live contacts.

3. What to bring
When you schedule your first consultation, make sure to ask questions including what to bring to your first appointment. All mental health professionals have varying requirements. Depending on your path to the right doctor, you might have undergone blood work or have a referral letter. Some may need your medical history file before your appointment. A good rule for any new medical service is to bring a list of all current medications you take. This will make it easier for your doctor to treat your symptoms and ensure any prescriptions will not conflict. If applicable, take your insurance card and information.

Be sure to check in with yourself and know that your mental health matters. Finding the right doctor or therapist will help you work toward a healthier mind and body.