How to get the mental health help you need.
You are your own best advocate.
Remember there is no one more important in your recovery than you. This page is designed to provide you assistance in working toward your mental health recovery. It is not meant to take place of the professional medical advise of your psychiatrist, physician or other mental health professionals. However, we believe you'll find it a useful guide.
Help in a crisis
First things first.
If you have a mental health emergency where someone is a threat to themselves or others call 911 immediately.
Here are some invaluable tips that lay out the steps of how you should handle interacting with an emergency operator and subsequently a first responder:
These are some scripts that the Sonoma County, CA Department of Health Services provides as a public service. We found them to be a valuable outline.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also provides great information on what to do in case of a mental health crisis
The threat of suicide is a crisis too
If you are the loved one or caretaker of someone threatening suicide TAKE THE THREAT SERIOUSLY. Call 911 and calmly explain your situation to the dispatch operator. When first responders arrive calmly explain the situation to them and let them do their job
Ask the responder about the suicide watch law in your state. They differ. For instance, California has a mandatory 72-hour suicide watch period. That means the person attempting suicide will be put into a psychiatric hold for three days.
Understanding Your Mental Health Needs
If you suspect you have issues that are creating barriers to your full mental health here is a great mental health-screening tool developed by the Mayo Clinic.
Additionally the National Institute of Mental Health offers a nice guide to specific disorders if you suspect you have or have been diagnosed with a particular mental health disorder.
Here are several services that can help you move from identifying your condition to finding the appropriate help.
For work place, private and public insurance or housing discrimination or access issues.
IMPORTANT NATIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
Using the websites of the following national mental health organizations is the best way to obtain more information about mental illness and what services are available to those seeking recovery.