How to Find Mental Health Services When You Need More Than Therapy

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Mental health conditions, even when they’re temporary, can affect every area of your life. While psychotherapy is a powerful and effective tool for treating mental health, you may find that you need other kinds of treatment or support to get the best outcomes.

The American Psychological Association confirms that blending psychotherapy with medication works for many people. And you might need other kinds of help to round out your treatment — everything from body work to affordable housing.

This guide is intended to help you find the resources you need to restore your mental and physical well-being.

If you need medication
Medication can treat many mental health conditions. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that well-researched and effective medications include:

antidepressants
anti-anxiety medications
stimulants
antipsychotics
mood stabilizers
These medications can treat a range of conditions. A doctor, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant must prescribe them.

To locate a healthcare professional who can prescribe medications as part of your treatment plan, you can start by contacting your insurance provider, if you have one. Using a psychiatrist in your network can save you money.

If that’s not an option, you may want to search using a database operated by a reliable mental health organization, such as these:

American Psychiatric Association (APA)
APA’s Find a Psychiatrist database allows you to tailor your search to include the specific disorder you want to treat, the languages spoken by your psychiatrist, and whether the psychiatrist accepts Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance payments.

Black Mental Health Alliance
The Black Mental Health Alliance can help you locate a Black psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse.

American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry
The American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry offers a list of Hispanic providers state by state.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has affiliate organizations in every state. Click on your state to find the organization near you and search for psychiatrists in your state.

Online mental health provider locators can help you find a psychiatrist in your local area with the ZIP code search feature. Other services like  can also help you find a psychiatrist in your area.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists can help you locate a psychiatrist to treat a young person.

If you want to find an online psychiatrist, you may find this article helpful as well.

If you need information about prescription medication
If you’ve been prescribed medication for a mental health condition and you want to learn more about side effects, drug interactions, or warnings, you can find lots of information using these resources:

U.S. National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus. Its searchable database has up-to-date information on thousands of drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies.
DailyMed. This is another helpful Library of Medicine medication information service.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)Trusted Source tracks reports about new risks and possible safety issues with medications. It’s a good source for any newly reported information about prescription medications.

If you need inpatient treatment
Sometimes people experiencing a mental health crisis need a short stay in a hospital or residential treatment facility.

If your insurance covers mental health, check with your insurance provider to see which inpatient treatment facilities it covers, how many days are covered, and what your out-of-pocket costs may be.

Many treatment facilities have a specific treatment focus, such as eating disorders, complex psychiatric disorders, or substance use recovery. And some offer innovative treatment programs, such as farm-based healing, educational opportunities, and vocational training.

These resources can help identify inpatient treatment options:

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has compiled a list of inpatient treatment centers for anxiety disorders and depression.

American Association of Children’s Residential Centers
The Association of Children’s Residential Centers has lists of its member facilities by state.

American Residential Treatment Association
The American Residential Treatment Association has 30 member facilities you can search by state. The listings describe the special programs offered by each facility.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA has a searchable national locator to help people find inpatient mental health facilities near them.

If you need to transition back to your community
After treatment in an inpatient facility, you may want to spend some time in extended care or a step-down program. Participating in a good “bridge” program makes it more likely that you’ll feel safe and supported, enabling you to maintain your progress.

In addition to offering psychotherapy, these transition programs usually offer a chance to:

build coping skills
engage in education or job training
develop a support network
provide ways to encourage accountability
create a safety plan to use if you need extra help
Many inpatient facilities have a continuous care coordinator on all treatment teams to help people transition back to independent living. Some facilities offer partial hospitalization programs that allow people to be at the facility during the day and go home at night.

To find outpatient facilities or day treatment programs, you may want to look for a treatment center that specializes in specific mental health conditions.

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
NEDA has a search tool for finding treatment clinics in your state.

International OCD Foundation
The International OCD Foundation has an interactive map to help you locate OCD outpatient programs in your area.

Hope for Depression Research Foundation
Hope for Depression Research Foundation has an interactive map that allows you to search for inpatient and outpatient clinics in your state with expertise in treating depression.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA offers a treatment facility finder for people who want treatment for substance use disorders.

Aunt Bertha
Aunt Bertha’s mission is to help people find a variety of public assistance programs. Its Find Help tool can help locate outpatient treatment facilities in your area. This tool can also help you find local aid organizations to meet other financial and practical needs.

The Center for Victims of Torture
For refugees or survivors of torture, the Center for Victims of Torture’s Domestic Healing Centers offer mental healthcare.

University research programs
Major research programs at some universities, like these programs at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, offer care for complex disorders such as schizophrenia. If you live near a university with a medical school, this may be a good option.

Telemed services
Telemedicine makes it possible to obtain treatment at specialty clinics even if you don’t live close to one, like this online program for eating disorders at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

If you need to heal your body
Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological conditions can have a negative effect on your overall health.

A growing body of research shows that the following can have a positive effect on your mental health:mind-body complementary therapies
These resources can help you build your mental health treatment team:

Movement
Yoga. To find a trauma-sensitive yoga instructor, you can try the search tools offered by these organizations:
Center for Trauma and Embodiment at Justice Resource Institute
Yoga Medicine

Exhale to Inhale
BIPOC-Owned Yoga Businesses and Organizations Directory from Yoga Journal
Dance therapy. To find a dance therapist who understands the connection between movement and mental health, you can contact the American Dance Therapy Association.
Exercise. The Justice Resource Institute also works with personal trainers to prepare them as trauma-informed weightlifting professionals.

Diet
Registered dietitian (RD). RDs are nutrition specialists licensed by each state. They must complete an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree, complete an internship, and pass a licensure exam. RDs are an important member of the treatment team for mental health conditions such as eating disorders. These locator services can help you find an RD in your area:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
RD of Color Directory
Food Heaven (in the United Kingdom)
Nutritionists. In the United States, nutritionists are not regulated in most states. In other countries, the term “nutritionist” may be used to refer to an RD. In the United States, it’s important to confirm your nutritionist has experience and education in the area for which you’re seeking their services. These referral sites can help you find a nutritionist near you:
American Nutrition Association (U.S.)
NHS (U.K.)

Sleep
Sleep hygiene is an important part of maintaining good health, including mental health. These organizations can help you find a sleep specialist in your area:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Narcolepsy Network

Specialized therapies
These organizations can help you find specialized therapy provided by accredited professionals in your area:

Art therapy: American Art Therapy Association
Play therapy: Association for Play Therapy
Music therapy: American Music Therapy Association
Massage therapy: American Massage Therapy Association
If you need a support group

Support groups can be a vital source of peer support, an adjunct to treatment, and a way for family members and loved ones to learn about mental health conditions and provide support. These organizations can help locate support groups in your area:

Mental Health America. This organization maintains a comprehensive list of virtual and in-person support groups across the United States for a variety of conditions and concerns.
Immigrants Rising. This organization facilitates support and wellness groups for undocumented immigrants.
NAMI registry of faith-based support groups. NAMI maintains a list of support groups from a faith tradition.
Local community centers. Many community centers provide a home for local support group meetings. Check local libraries, newspapers, and community boards for listings.

If you’re considering a clinical trial or research study
If other treatments haven’t delivered the results you need, your doctor may recommend that you participate in a clinical trial of a new treatment.

Researchers, scientists, and mental health professionals are developing new treatments and treatment methods all the time.

If you’d like to be part of a research study, you can begin by contacting nearby research hospitals and universities to see whether any relevant projects need volunteers. You can also reach out through these trusted institutes to see if you qualify:

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Its tool helps you look for a study that focuses on the specific mental health issue affecting you.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. This center has a “Search the Studies” tool that helps you explore studies in greater depth by choosing a mental health study from a drop-down menu.
Research Match. This nationwide registry for research volunteers can help pair you with a national study that best suits your needs.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This organization offers a list of opportunities to participate in new and ongoing research studies. While most of the current studies don’t focus on potential treatments, they may help you learn more about the ways alcohol and drug use affect your brain, body, and day-to-day functioning.
For many people, especially those in communities underserved by the healthcare system, the idea of participating in a clinical trial can be worrying.

Those who do choose to be part of a research study often do so because they have strong, community-centered values, and they may provide valuable representation for their racial, ethnic, or cultural community.

If you need help finding housing
Mental health conditions can affect your job and your ability to maintain safe and stable housing. If you would like assistance meeting this basic need, here are some resources to consider:

Emergency shelter
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD offers a “Find Shelter tool” on its website. The tool lists contact information for all emergency shelters in your area.
Its interactive tool can help you locate an emergency shelter near you.
National Safe Place. This organization’s interactive map helps children and teens find safe shelter right now. You can also text the word “safe” and your current location (city, state, and ZIP code) to 4HELP (44357). You’ll receive a response letting you know the location of a safe place near you.

Affordable housing
An important part of mental health and well-being is safe housing. The following resources can help people facing mental health concerns secure housing:

Section 8 program
Contact your local public housing agency. If your income is within certain limits, you may qualify for rent assistance through the Section 8 program. In most areas, there is a waiting list for Section 8 housing, but you can begin the process.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
You can also use this interactive map to locate subsidized housing and other housing resources in your area, or learn more about housing resources in your state by using this HUD guide.

Aunt Bertha
Aunt Bertha’s Find Help search tool allows you to type in your ZIP code to identify sources of funding in your area to help you pay for housing, utility bills, and internet service.

Center for Independent Living
The Center for Independent Living can help you get in touch with organizations that help people with disabilities, including mental health conditions, find affordable housing.

Bilingual assistance
Socialserve’s bilingual call center, provided by a private nonprofit organization, can help connect you with affordable housing in your state.

Safety from domestic violence
The Violence Against Women Act protects you from housing discrimination if you’re experiencing intimate partner violence, dating violence, or stalking.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence and other organizations can help survivors find safe, affordable, subsidized housing.

If you need a lawyer to help with the repercussions of a mental health condition
If a landlord, employer, healthcare professional, school official, or someone else is discriminating against you because of a mental health condition, or if you’re involved in the carceral system, finding a lawyer who understands the role of mental health is important.

These resources can help connect you with lawyers and legal advice:
Legal Services Corporation. This nonprofit was established by Congress to provide legal help for citizens with low income.
Community Health Law Project. This advocacy group works to help people with mental health conditions and disabilities.
Mental health courts. If you have a mental health condition and have been charged with a crime, or if you’re involved in the carceral system in some other way, these courts can help you get an evaluation or access services.

 

 

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