Looking for a mental health provider can be stressful, tricky, and sometimes hard to come by.
There are many places to look for a provider, and it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you or your family’s needs. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a mental health provider.
First, finding someone you click with is one of the most crucial factors when choosing a mental health provider. Studies show that a positive outcome is more likely if the client and their provider have a strong relationship. Many clients will say that trust is the factor that will make or break the relationship with your provider. If you don’t trust your provider, it’s harder to be vulnerable and open to sharing your honest thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
Many people don’t realize seeing more than one mental health provider is normal.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might need a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner to manage your medications and another provider for psychotherapy on a more frequent basis. It’s common for people who struggle with addiction to receive mental health services as well. In that case, you might see a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), a psychiatrist for your medications, and a therapist who will help you understand your behaviors and work to find healthier, positive coping skills.
Be sure to check with your health insurance company before you schedule your first appointment. Often, they can give you a list of providers covered by your insurance plan. Your primary care provider may be able to recommend a provider as well. After your initial evaluation, your provider will review treatment options and recommendations. It’s a good idea to call your health insurance provider again to confirm your plan will cover the recommended services. Please let us know if your insurance will not cover the treatment or services recommended by your mental health provider. Our team will work with you to get the care you need without making costs a barrier to your wellbeing.
If you are nervous about making the appointment, ask a friend or a family member to join the call with you. Ask about office hours, potential fees, and how long each session lasts. Knowing this information will help you decide which provider is the best fit. And if this is your first time seeking mental or chemical health care, be prepared for your first appointment to take up to 90 minutes. Aside from completing the intake paperwork, your provider will want plenty of time to get to know you and understand your needs.
And finally, just because a provider has an excellent reputation or helped a friend or family member, it does not guarantee they’ll be a good fit for you.
If you meet with a provider and the two of you don’t click, that’s okay! Be open and honest with the provider that you are looking for someone you can work with long-term. The provider will understand. Don’t give up. Keep looking, and you will find the right provider for you.