How do you find a Health Professional
to help you?
Your primary care provider can be an initial source
of help. This might be a Medical Doctor (MD, DO), a Nurse Practitioner (MHNP, FNP), or a Physician Assistant (PA). They can
diagnose problems and prescribe medications. They may refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Professionals who specialize in mental health include Psychologists (PhD), Social
Workers (MSW), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Marriage and Family Counselors (MFC). These professionals are involved primarily in counseling
and testing. They may refer you back to your primary care provider or to a psychiatrist if medications appear to be indicated.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health issues. They have the most extensive training in the treatment of mental health conditions and in prescribing appropriate
drugs when needed. Psychiatrists are in short supply in most areas so the wait time for an appointment can range from weeks to months.
There are also private
and public psychiatric hospitals and mental health centers where help may be available.
Most states have publically supported
mental health clinics.
The National Alliance on
Mental Illness (NAMI) will be able to assist you in finding services. Most larger cities have local offices you can call. There is a link to the NAMI website below.