Continuing the Conversation: Who to go to first?
Today’s question from last week’s Reel Teens Pittsburgh Facebook Live Town Hall event is about who to go to for help about your mental health when you are feeling like you may want to speak to someone. More specifically, the question asks about who to go to for help first.
Seeking help for a mental health problem (or any problem) is a really important first step towards feeling better and staying well. Mental health conditions are real, common and treatable. However, it does not always seem like that, especially because of the stigma attached to mental health. Therefore, while many people live with symptoms and mental health conditions, often it can be hard to know how to start or who and where to turn.
Who to turn to can depend on many factors, but in general, there are often many people in an individual’s life who can offer help. These people include:
- School counselors (or university counseling services)
- Other adult family members like an aunt or uncle
- Faith leaders
- People from local mental health groups
- Primary care physicians
These people can either directly provide you with the support and help you need, or they can refer you to outside resources or someone else who can better help you. If the first person you tell cannot help you, tell another person you trust. Help is out there and you deserve it.
As mentioned above, a primary care physician (also known as your PCP) is a good person to talk to about your mental health. Some reasons to talk to your PCP are:
- Easier access to care (quicker appointments, more convenient)
- Familiar with your medical history
- Reduce or ease the stigma surrounding mental health symptoms and conditions
- Easy access to many resources (such as a psychologist or social work in their office or screening tools)
- Help organize and arrange your care
- Monitor progress
Watch the following video about how to talk to your PCP about your mental health.
To find out more about seeking help for a mental health problem, visit Mental Health America or read our previously published blog post about finding the right healthcare professional. Also, check out our other two Q+A posts about seeking a mental health counseling appointment and stigma.
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Who did you first turn to when you wanted help? What was your experience or do you have any recommendations? If you have any other questions or comments about the subject of today’s blog post or a different question, let us know! We’d love to hear from you!