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You have decided to take the first step toward mental health care, but how do you get started? Luckily you have options and many people around who are eager to help. Most times, the initial step of reaching out are with the individuals and groups that you most trust, such as family, friends, physician, human resources and/or a school counselor. When working with a core team to relay your readiness for help, you may find these factors to consider:

  1. The different types of mental health professionals and their expertise.
  2. The specifics of your concerns and/or condition. Understanding your current struggles may help in identifying a mental health profession best suited to your needs.
  3. The potential need for medication and/or therapy may also influence your choice for the right mental health professional as some do not have prescribing authority.
  4. Understanding your health insurance policy for in- or out-of-network providers as well as amounts, types and length of services covered per year.

Although the process of finding the right mental health professional may take some time, you will find that the investment is worth the care you will receive. Do not hesitate to ask questions, get referrals and ask for different opinions. This commitment you’re taking is a courageous step forward to improving your life. Congratulations!

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