Accessibility (Accessing health care, Mental Health Services)
- Call a service provider. Most states have an area 211 information hot line. These states fund programs that provide information about available services to people seeking help . Talk with the information specialist regarding access to a local mental health provider. Your inquiries can be made anonymously. Ask your public library for telephone access to make a local call. Computer use at the public library is often available after applying for a library card.
- Generate a list of questions to ask the mental health provider. Call the clinic, and make an appointment. For emergency help, dial 911. Hospitals have 24-hour emergency room coverage for mental health concerns, such as substance abuse/detox, trauma, or suicide. Providers of community mental health services such as counseling and therapy, accept clients by appointment. Be prepared to schedule additional visits after an initial visit to your mental health counselor.
- Choose your therapist based on locality, specialty and type of provider. If your therapy appointments are inconvenient, you may feel less encouraged to continue with your therapy sessions. Choose to work with a counselor who can accommodate your schedule. Examples of different types of mental health therapists are addiction counselors, art therapists, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses, and psychologists. If you feel your counselor is not a good match, after one or two sessions, ask for referrals to either a different type, or a more available mental health service provider