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What to Ask About Mental Health Services

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness like depression or schizophrenia, finding the right help is crucial. When speaking to mental healthcare providers, ask these questions to ensure you find the best psychiatric or other mental health practitioner to help with the condition.

  • What restrictions do you have as a mental health practitioner?
    Three primary types of practitioners exist: psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors. Psychiatrists have the ability to prescribe medications, while the others do not. If you have a condition that requires medication, your only option is a psychiatrist.

  • What mental illnesses do you treat?
    Many mental healthcare providers have experience in specific types of cases. Some treat general depression and anxiety disorders, while others focus on treating psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia. Practitioners may also have expertise in treating substance abuse.

  • Do you offer individual or only group therapy?
    Make sure that you select a practitioner that offers the type of therapy with which you are the most comfortable.

  • What treatment methods do you employ?
    Mental health practitioners have many different approaches to helping clients. Some use talk therapy, where patients discuss their problems. Others use role-playing or hypnosis. Psychiatrists often use medications to help treat mental illnesses.

  • Do you accept insurance?
    Many health insurance plans will cover psychological or psychiatric care; however, not all providers accept all types of insurance. In addition, some providers may choose not to take insurance at all.

  • What is your payment policy?
    If you don't have health insurance to cover the cost of your visits, you'll need to know when you are expected to pay for services. Some mental healthcare practitioners will require you to pay at the time of your visits, while others will mail you bills. Also inquire about what forms of payment the practitioners accept, such as cash, personal checks and credit or debit cards.
  • Mental Health America
    Finding the right mental health services for your needs can be difficult if you don't know where to start. Our nationwide association can help with the widest network of counselors and services in the nation.
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    American Mental Health Counselors Association
    For anyone in need of mental health services, our association provides valuable resources. Get more information on mental health services and find the perfect counselor near you.
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    On The Road to Better Living
    1 review: *****
    13 Orange St, Manchester, NH 03104
    (603) 623-0651 Write review for this local business

    "People there are closed-minded and feel content being that way. They don't have compassion for other people, and the staff is very rude, unfriendly, and fake. ..."
    Ppal Parent/Professional Advocacy League Write review for this local business
    48 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 542-7860  
    Rowell Levy, PsyD Write review for this local business
    15 Court Sq Ste 830, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 935-1561  
    Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee Write review for this local business
    399 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 338-2345  
    Mental Health Legal Advisors Commitee Write review for this local business
    24 School St Ste 800, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 248-1884  
    Mass Association for Mental Health Inc Write review for this local business
    130 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 742-7452  
    Larissa Crane Write review for this local business
    14 Beacon St Ste 505, Boston, MA 02108
    (508) 566-7160  
    IV Seibert, LICSW Write review for this local business
    10 Milk St, Boston, MA 02108
    (857) 277-0372  
    Tri-City Mental Health Write review for this local business
    15 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 927-0077  
    Mental Health Program for The Deaf Write review for this local business
    25 Staniford St, Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 723-8610  
    International OCD Foundation Write review for this local business
    112 Water St, Boston, MA 02109
    (617) 973-5801  
    Marcus Mental Health Write review for this local business
    82 Marlborough St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 262-5076  
    Dr. George Soto Write review for this local business
    75 Arlington St Ste 5000, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 209-9869  
    Feyza Marouf, M.D. Write review for this local business
    264 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 830-2661  
    Boston Psychotherapy Associates Write review for this local business
    262 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 262-3751  
    North Suffolk Mental Health Assn Write review for this local business
    25 Staniford St, Boston, MA 02114
    (617) 723-1420  
    Eliot Community Human Services Write review for this local business
    15 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 236-8390  
    Endeavor Psychology Write review for this local business
    29 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02116
    (617) 207-4124  
    Chris Farley Rehab Write review for this local business
    60 State St #700, Boston, MA 02109
    (857) 930-4110  
    Lisa Mcdonnell Licsw Write review for this local business
    22 Whitney Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
    (617) 497-1150  
    North Charles Mental Health Clinic Write review for this local business
    43 Essex St, Cambridge, MA 02139
    (617) 491-1269  
    Massachusetts Cmnwlth of Mntl Hlth Dept; Metro Bos Write review for this local business
    74 Fenwood Rd, Boston, MA 02115
    (617) 626-9300  
    Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership Write review for this local business
    286 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
    (617) 350-1900  

    Mental health services exist to serve many purposes, the first of which is to provide relief for those suffering from emotional and behavioral disorders. Patients receive treatment through therapy sessions, led by licensed psychiatric doctors and mental health counselors. Psychiatrists are essentially medical doctors and can provide prescription medication to treat a range of disorders, from schizophrenia to depression.

    Since many mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia, can manifest themselves in physical ways, patients who exhibit symptoms can be treated for those as well. This is common in drug abusers, for instance, who may experience withdrawals and need to be hospitalized in clinics and centers for medical treatment and observation.

    Counselors can work directly with patients or through a series of group therapy sessions. Some mental health services focus on patients that have experienced a brain trauma or disorder. Other counselors may focus on treating substance abuse patients. Whatever the focus, mental health services can connect people with the right resources for them. This may involve psychiatric care, medication or counseling in conjunction with medication.

    Sometimes people with mental disorders just need someone to talk to. In this case, they can contact mental health services that boast hotlines, for example, where people can call at any time of the day or night and speak to a volunteer or qualified counselor about anger or anxiety. Mental health services may also provide temporary housing, mental illness outpatient counseling, free victim services and crisis intervention services. Psychologists can assist with socialization, preventative health care, daily living activities and community involvement.

    All of these programs and more are available to those who seek it out, either on their own or through their doctor.

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