Here’s Exactly How To Get Help For A Mental Health Issue – BuzzFeed News


Your Post Has Been Launched!

Fabulous! Don’t forget to share with your friends on
Twitter and Facebook.


Health

Knowing what to do can be hard, but doing nothing
isn’t the answer.

Whether you’re currently in a crisis or dealing
with a worsening mental health issue, seeking
out help can be anxiety-inducing — especially
if you’ve heard some horror stories.

Whether you’re currently in a crisis or dealing with a worsening mental health issue, seeking out help can be anxiety-inducing — especially if you've heard some horror stories.

View this image ›

Coolmilo / Getty Images

For example, in a recently published piece,
BuzzFeed News
investigated America’s largest psychiatric
chain (Universal Health Services, or UHS) and
how some current and former employees at ten
UHS facilities said they were under pressure to
admit and hold patients until their insurance
payments ran out — which sometimes meant
exaggerating people’s symptoms or twisting
their words to make them seem suicidal. UHS
strongly disputes these allegations and has
said they offer all patients high-quality care.

ID: 10156683

So if you’re someone who has been thinking
about seeking help for the first time, reading
something like that might really, really freak
you out.

View this image ›

Which, understandable. For many, there’s
already a stigma associated with mental health
services, but that shouldn’t discourage you
from seeking help when you truly need it. When
you’re dealing with a mental health issue,
seeing a professional is crucial — and it can
be a positive experience if you know the right
way to find support.

ID: 10167288

To help you navigate, BuzzFeed Health spoke
with the following experts about when and how
to seek help:

Here’s what they had to say:

ID: 10165776

1. First,
it can be hard to know when you need to see
someone, but it’s time to reach out if…

View this image ›

Your safety or the safety of others is in
question.
This means if you think you might
hurt yourself or someone else — but also, if
you’re not sure if you will and don’t
know whether you need help or not, says Parekh:
“It’s that gray in-between space when people
most need to seek help and contact someone who
has been trained to make those complex
decisions.”

You recognize signs from previous episodes
or crises.
If you have a history of dealing
with and managing a disorder, you have probably
learned signs or symptoms that usually lead up
to a relapse, says Duckworth. Symptom episodes
usually follow patterns, so getting help
quickly can help manage the outcome. Usually in
this case, you and whatever professional you’re
working with will have developed a plan for
times like this, but if not, these tips can
still apply.

Your symptoms are getting in the away of
your ability to function.
“Fundamentally,
what you’re trying to figure out is, ‘Is what
I’m dealing with beyond my capacity to handle
alone?’” says Bufka.

ID: 10156725

2. If
you’re feeling vulnerable, scared, or not sure
where to begin, calling 911 or a 24-hour
hotline is a great first step.

If you're feeling vulnerable, scared, or not sure where to begin, calling 911 or a 24-hour hotline is a great first step.

View this image ›

The idea of calling 911 for something other
than a very obvious life-or-death emergency
might seem weird, but it’s actually an
important resource if you’re not sure where to
start and you feel like you need help now —
especially because mental health has the
potential to spiral quickly so bringing in a
professional just in case is always the safest
route.

“Calling 911 doesn’t mean that someone’s going
to swoop in and take you away,” says Parekh.
The person on the other end of the line will
just work with you to figure out what your
situation calls for. That might mean further
redirection or intervention, but for a lot of
people, you might come to a solution together,
like deciding that you’ll call your primary
care doctor in the morning. You might even find
the conversation therapeutic and a solution in
and of itself.

Same goes for calling a hotline, like the
US
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(1-800-273-8255) or one of the international
suicide hotlines found
here. And despite the name, these hotlines
are helpful for any mental health crisis, not
just if you’re suicidal.

ID: 10156778

3. If
nothing else, at least call a loved one who
will be able to help connect you with help.

View this image ›

The thing is, if you’re in a situation where
help is needed, you might not be in a position
where you want to call 911 or a hotline, or
walk into an ER. If that’s the case, Parekh
suggests calling a friend or family member.
Again, the goal is to connect with someone who
will then open up lines of communication
between you and the help you need.

FYI, now is a good time to mention that
bystanders can be the ones best equipped to
initiate seeking treatment, so if you’re
reading this to get more information about
helping a loved one, don’t hesitate to assist
them in accessing these resources.

ID: 10156747

4. If
you’re not in immediate crisis, your primary
care doctor is the most recommended first step.

If you're not in immediate crisis, your primary care doctor is the most recommended first step.

View this image ›

All the experts BuzzFeed Health spoke to agreed
that you shouldn’t underestimate the importance
of your primary care doctor: They know your
history and can speak to important changes in
your health or behavior (yes, even if you only
see them once a year). They have an incredible
network and it’s their job to accumulate
information and get consultations to do what’s
best for you. They’re someone you can go to who
you trust, someone who’s going to go be caring
— ultimately, the perfect person to have on the
frontline triaging and navigating the next
steps for you, says Parekh.

You don’t even have to make an appointment with
them — if your situation feels more immediate,
call up their office and say, “I’m a patient of
so-and-so’s, this is what’s happening, what do
you think I should do?” Which might mean making
an appointment, or utilizing another resource
the office suggests.

ID: 10156784

5. But if
you don’t have a doctor, or if you decide to do
a walk-in somewhere to seek help or assessment,
do research ahead of time if you can. Or at the
very least, consider bringing a trusted friend
or family member with you.

But if you don't have a doctor, or if you decide to do a walk-in somewhere to seek help or assessment, do research ahead of time if you can. Or at the very least, consider bringing a trusted friend or family member with you.

View this image ›

Let’s say you decide to walk into a mental
health service provider because you saw a sign
on the bus advertising free mental health
assessments there. While that’s not necessarily
a bad thing, a little research could help, says
Bufka.

Look it up online: If it’s an organization, are
they accredited? If it’s an individual, are
they properly licensed in the state that you’re
in? If it’s a psychiatric hospital, can you
check online reviews or ask
friends/family/current providers if they’re
familiar with it?

As for having someone there with you, it can
never hurt to have another advocate for you in
a crisis in an unfamiliar place, says Bufka.

ID: 10163814

6. Once
you’re there, make sure to read any paperwork
you sign and ask someone to explain it to you
if there’s anything you don’t understand.

View this image ›

According to Bufka, signing a form might mean
consenting to being kept overnight for
observation or hospitalized if, during the
course of the intake, there are concerns raised
about your health or safety. Even though it’s
more likely that you’ll be free to leave on
your own terms, you should be aware of the
possibility so you can make an informed
decision.

Btw, it’s important to keep in mind that being
kept for observation is not a bad thing. Stigma
may have led you to believe that it’s the worst
case scenario and only for very extreme cases,
but sometimes a physician just needs to gather
more information to be safe, since your mental
health can sometimes change in a short period
of time, says Parekh.

ID: 10166795

7. If at
any point you feel unsafe or taken advantage of
during a mental health assessment or after
you’ve been admitted, don’t hesitate to express
your concern and ask for more information.

If at any point you feel unsafe or taken advantage of during a mental health assessment or after you've been admitted, don't hesitate to express your concern and ask for more information.

View this image ›

HBO

Bufka wants you to know that stories of people
being held at the hospital against their will —
like the ones BuzzFeed News investigated, when
even police intervention proved to be no help —
are extremely rare. “Typically it is very
difficult to hospitalize someone who is not an
imminent threat to self or others,” she says.

But if you do wind up in a situation where you
feel unsafe or aren’t receiving care that seems
appropriate to your situation, Bufka has the
following recommendations: “Do your best to
remain calm and clear, explain your concern,
and attempt to resolve it.” If needed, ask to
speak to a supervisor or licensed provider for
more information. You can also ask to speak
with your emergency contact, who might be able
to step in and help.

Also, once removed from the situation, she
suggests considering registering a complaint
with the oversight body (such as your state
health agency, Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services, or the Joint
Commission.)

ID: 10173959

8. It can
be very helpful, if you have the bandwidth and
aren’t currently in a crisis, to come up with a
crisis prevention plan for the future.

It can be very helpful, if you have the bandwidth and aren’t currently in a crisis, to come up with a crisis prevention plan for the future.

View this image ›

“Many psychiatric vulnerabilities can be
long-term or recurring, so the goal after that
first moment of treatment is to create for
yourself a network of professional helpers who
will be there in case you have another flare-up
or crisis in the future,” says Duckworth.

A crisis plan can determine steps to take to
prevent a crisis and to handle a crisis once
it’s developed. You can learn more about what
to include
here at NAMI.

ID: 10162127

9. For
good measure, here are a few more intermediate
options and resources to be aware of:

For good measure, here are a few more intermediate options and resources to be aware of:

View this image ›

Call your insurance provider. They will be
able to tell you how to pursue treatment,
whether that’s finding an in-network therapist
or specialist you can see or helping you
navigate out-of-network options

The
NAMI HelpLine can help you with anything
under the mental health umbrella short of a
crisis situation, so they’ll be happy to
field questions like “Where’s the closest
mental health clinic near me?” or “How do I
find low-cost treatment?” You can reach them
at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email them at
info@nami.org

See if your job has an Employee Assistance
Program (EAP), which can provide you with
short-term mental healthcare, referrals, and
financial advice

Talk to a leader in your house of worship.
They may provide pastoral counseling — AKA
getting counseling from a trained minister,
rabbi, priest, imam, etc. — or work with you to
find help

ID: 10156791

10.
Remember: The goal is to get you the help you
need, and most of the time, the care you
receive will reflect that.

Remember: The goal is to get you the help you need, and most of the time, the care you receive will reflect that.

View this image ›

“Getting to the ER or making that phone call,
all of that can be anxiety-provoking, but
knowing that more people than not walk away
from that intervention feeling much better is
critical to keep in mind,” says Parekh. “The
worst mental health service out there is doing
nothing. Doing nothing is never a right
answer.”

ID: 10162068

Check out more
articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 

Facebook Conversations

  Your Reaction?

Sorry, but you can only react up to 3 times!

Oops! It looks like you’ve already used that
reaction on this post.

You are signed in as .

I know, right? Will your friends agree?

Share this Link

Your link was successfully shared!

Tagged:mental health,
anxiety, bipolar
disorder, depression, how
to get mental health help, mental
health emergency, signs you
should call 911, suicide, what to do if
youre feeling suicidal

 

Facebook Conversations

Contributions


#{img_n_width}x#{img_n_height}



Source link