Created by: Hope Daluisio
Medical professional titles and lingo can be tricky to understand when you are trying to find the right person to help you with your mental health. This slideshow explains all the medical professionals who aid in the mental health field.
More than 30 million Americans need help dealing with feelings and problems that seem beyond their control. Every single day, someone out there is dealing with a difficult marriage or relationship, losing a loved one, getting laid off from a job, chronic stress; the list goes on and on. Fortunately, there are many trained and trusted individuals available to help those who are struggling to cope. However, it is important to know exactly who to turn to.
Primary Care Physician (PCP)
- As long as an individual is not in the state of a medical emergency, they can visit a Primary Care Physician. A PCP can either treat a condition right in their office, or direct an individual to additional mental health professionals that can help, such as counselors or psychologists.
- Primary Care Physician’s can typically be found through one’s health insurance plan. An individual is typically encouraged to find a PCP that takes his or her insurance, is close to their home and is easy to get in touch with when needed.
- An individual should visit a psychiatrist if they may be in need of a diagnosis, treatment or medication for coping with a mental health condition.
- A primary care physician can recommend psychiatrists to their patients. An individual could also use website such as “Psychology Today” to search for local psychiatrists in their area.
- Clinical psychologists are trained to make diagnoses and provide therapy for individuals with mental health conditions. Therapy choices range from individual therapy, to group therapy, or other more specific types of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
- Primary care physicians, local doctors, family and friends, college psychology departments and state psychological associations are all trustable resources for connecting with a clinical psychologist. The American Psychological Association also offers an online psychologist locator.
- School psychologists have an advanced degree in psychology specifically to help students with feelings and problems that seem beyond their control in a school setting. They are able to make diagnoses and provide therapy to students.
- School psychologists can be found in most local elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges or universities. An individual could also consult with a doctor, family member or friend about connecting with a school psychologist.
Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse practitioners have gone through trusted, specialized training to diagnose individuals with mental illnesses and offer treatment to them.
- An individual can consult a local doctor or mental health center to connect with a nurse practitioner. There are also many online resources, such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, that can be turned to when in search of a trusted nurse practitioner.
Mental Health Counselor
- Mental health counselors are trained to diagnose mental illnesses and and provide individual and group counseling.
- A primary care physician, local doctor, local health center, family member or friend can all be reached out to for recommendations on trusted mental health counselors. Online resources, such as the Good Therapy Organization, can also be used to seek out mental health counselors in one’s area.
Clinical Social Worker
- A clinical social worker helps individuals with mental health conditions by making diagnoses and offering both individual and group counseling.
- Family, friends, health care providers or local doctors can all be sources for recommendations on connecting with a clinical social worker.
Written by: Angelina Miller