With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to be discouraged or plagued by mental health issues. Many people who are staying home for the common good are finding themselves less active, less motivated and less happy overall. So it’s important to stay on top of mental health issues that could be plaguing you now and even outside of the current state of the world. People suffering with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses may find it difficult to open up to other people.
With social media and virtual meetings being some of the few points of contact with the outside world, it’s detrimental to make sure your mental health does not suffer. Sometimes, changing routines or getting outside can have a positive effect on mental health – but sometimes it’s important to know when to ask for more help.
If you have been feeling like you need to speak to a professional, here are some tactics for finding the right therapist for you:
Ask a professional you already know and trust.
The first point of contact for many people who are suffering with mental health may be a doctor/physician. While they may suggest prescribed medication, they could also be a great point of contact for finding a therapist. Many people find that they want to go the medication route, the homeopathic/therapy route, or a combination of both. The important thing is being open to the conversation with a professional who knows you. But do keep in mind that you have the right to share as much or as little as you see fit when asking somebody. A good script could be: “I’m going through some issues right now and I think a therapist might help. Could you recommend one?”
Speak to a friend or family member.
Many people struggling with mental health will be most comfortable speaking to a friend or family member first. This could be especially helpful because you may know somebody who is going through similar issues. If not, keep in mind that some people just don’t open up about their mental health, but could relate more than you know. When speaking to friends or family, make sure you can speak to somebody supportive, not intrusive.
Use another therapist as a resource.
While you may be wondering, why would I ask a therapist for a therapist? This is actually very common practice. If you have a friend or family member who sees a therapist, their therapist would be happy to refer you to another therapist. They are constantly networking and working with each other to make sure their patients get the best option. Don’t be afraid to be specific with your needs too.
Schools and employers usually have mental health resources.
Whether you’re in school (middle school, high school, university) or employed, these establishments almost always have programs designed to help with mental health. Sometimes, speaking to an authority figure about personal issues can be intimidating, but they are humans too. Open up to a counselor, teacher or manager and they will know how to help- all you need to do is ask.
A final tip for finding the perfect therapist: use your intake/first therapy sessions to ask them questions too. If you prefer traditional therapy, nontraditional, equine, etc. They will want to help, so don’t be afraid to voice a therapist wishlist.