How to Find Mental Health Support
Have you ever wondered how to find mental health support?
If so, you are not alone.
There are obstacles around every corner. Too expensive. Long waitlist. No response.
Even as a healthcare professional, I’ve experienced the struggles even though I know how to find mental health support!
Below is a list of different forms of mental health services that I know exist in Canada, but likely available in many other countries, too! I did not include physician examples such as psychologists or psychiatrists, as those usually require a referral from a family doctor.
Hopefully something resonates with you!
Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, all information and reflections are meant for educational purposes only. If you plan to make changes in your life, it may be worth consulting with loved ones and/or your wellness team. Also, this post may contain affiliate links that will connect you with some pretty cool products and when making a purchase through those links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Supportive loved ones can be amazing resources for your wellness!
But… if you are experiencing something incredibly stressful, feel embarrassed or it is something that has been eating at you for a long period of time, start looking for services suited for you!
Heck, you can hire a counsellor just because you need a neutral place to have your feelings validated.
Did you know that the majority of crisis line responders are trained in ways to support you?
There can be a certain level of comfort that comes from talking with someone through an anonymous and neutral platform.
Something that not everyone knows is that you do NOT need to be suicidal to call, although, they will ask if you are.
Greater recognition of the benefits of releasing emotions and negative thinking patterns has increased services and there is no cost. If you do not feel comfortable speaking, there are also messaging options.
Google crisis lines for your country and/or province/territory.
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Community Mental Health Support
Every health authority has differing levels of services that can be accessed, but there are many social workers, counsellors and nurses who work in a community health role.
Where I live (Kelowna, BC) there is walk-in counselling available during certain hours if you need seen quickly and just need short-term support.
Call your local community health building and ask how to apply. Some places have “intake hours”, while others require a referral from your doctor.
Either way, your healthcare number is your ticket for free assistance.
Before getting too enthusiastic at this prospect, most government mental health support have wait-lists or less availability for frequent appointments.
If you feel you need more than they can offer, the next three options are something to consider regarding financial investment in your wellness.
If you are a person who finds it easier to express yourself through writing, then this might be a great option.
Not only that, if you need regular support, then a few quick texts per day may be all you need!
Prices vary and there are websites that have more information on exactly how their services work, but I know there can be scheduled and random messaging options.
I am unsure if messaging is covered by insurance, but it never hurts to inquire!
Video & Phone Therapy
Live in a tiny community, work shift work, socially anxious or afraid you may run into your counsellor?
There are many reasons why people would prefer these methods, even if the only motivation is that you want to wear your pajamas in bed.
With the continually developing technological age, many counsellors offer “remote” sessions now.
As long as you have internet access or great cell service, you can add this to your list of possibilities.
Meeting in person can be quite a different experience than using technology to communicate. Body language and the atmosphere of an office can be either inviting or nerve racking.
I prefer to interact face-to-face, but am happy to adapt to a client’s needs.
Price options are available through private counselling, so it does not hurt to call or access websites prior to booking an appointment.
Do some searching as there may be lower costs by working with well-educated counselling students or a financing program.
Also, most counsellor descriptions specify what they specialize in, so take a peek at their areas of care. Please be aware that people advertise themselves as therapists, but may not be legally registered, so ask which ‘registering body’ they are under before any payment.
Did you know there are lots of group therapy options?
Sometimes it is educational while others are supportive. There are even specific ones, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy.
New mother and struggling? Trying to overcome grief? Did you get an upsetting diagnosis?
Look into options in your area online and in person.
Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, if there is someone who represents your thoughts or emotions, reach out.
Some examples can include a trusted pastor, guru, minister, or indigenous elder.
As spiritual supports vary in their approaches for those who seek guidance, not all exchanges are positive. Formal training is not always a requirement, so it may help to ask a friend with similar views for suggestions or check the internet to ensure you know warning signs of ill practice.
Dependent on the services you are seeking, prices can either be free or quite expensive. Again, do your research and make sure you find the right fit for your mentality and budget.
As a reminder, recovery sponsors are not trained supports and help based on their own experiences.
Acts of service are part of many step programs and can assist sponsors in maintaining their own sobriety, as well.
If you are struggling with troublesome substance use or behaviours, there may be an Anonymous program available in your community or online.
Attending a meeting is mental health support, too!
Not every resource or counsellor you encounter will be perfect or the right fit, but I encourage you to search further (Reference “How to Find The Right Counsellor” post).
Take care of yourself in whatever helps you feel fulfilled and comfortable. I just wanted to give the reminder that if you feel like something is missing, maybe seek a fully engaged support.
Hopefully this post helped you learn how to find mental health support!
What You Can Do
Google crisis lines for your province, territory or country. Save the number in your phone for quick access if that may help.
Look into your insurance. Many people have been surprised to see that they have mental health coverages. There may also be supports through your workplace.
Check your human resources page or ask a trusted co-worker because why pay full price if you can get discounted of free services?
Search websites for pricing, specialities and credibility to ensure they match what you are looking for. Compare the ones that stand out the most and give them a call because some counsellors do 15-minute free consultations to make sure you like their personality!