name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : Why We Need to Talk About Mental Health - Finding the Right Care


Why We Need to Talk About Mental Health - Finding the Right Care

When I first felt called to write a post on mental health, it's this topic that first came to mind. Finding care for yourself is so daunting and scary. Not to mention, it can take time - time you may not have when it comes to how you're feeling. No matter if you are in a search for your very first mental health appointment or if you need someone that fits your needs a bit better, I hope this post can help make those choices.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. The information I am sharing is based on personal experience. Before seeking the best fit for your mental health care, please see your regular doctor for guidance.

When talking about mental health, it's great to know your options. Listed below are brief explanations, but again, you know yourself best and what your needs are - I pray that if this topic reaches you, you reach even further. Do your own research and find what exists in your area.


These professionals can perform assessments and offer therapy. They are trained to diagnose as well as do group and individual therapy. They have a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program. They will most likely want to talk - think about what you want and if this fits. Talk to them before you begin to see if their plans match your needs.


A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. They can also prescribe medication and may offer counseling. You could work with both a psychiatrist as well as a counselor to find a good balance of talking and further treatment if needed. If you want to "talk it out" and learn strategies to help, ask the psychiatrist if he/she offer this kind of support.


A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) has a masters degree in psychology, counseling, or related area. In my experience with LPCs, they will do "talk" therapy where you will spend your time sharing and getting feedback. They cannot prescribe medicine but can provide support in helping shape thoughts and/or behaviors. When researching, look for counselors who perhaps specialize in your desired area - post partum help, grief, anxiety, etc.

Social Worker

Social workers have a masters degree in social work and can also make diagnoses, provide counseling, and advocacy. Many are found in the hospital setting. They can be a great resource as you or a loved one seek help.

Primary Care Physician

I included a physician because if you have one you trust, you can speak with him/her about your worries and listen for advice on how to proceed. If you do not have a regular doctor, find one just as you would a mental health professional - carefully and with research. I strongly believe in a good partnership. Have a conversation with your doctor.

Image via Live Life Happy

I had a great counselor after losing a friend then my dad a few years later. She eventually moved, so I had to seek out a new person to help my worry. After some research, I found one who was very kind yet there just wasn't a connection - her eyes often wandered to the clock making me think I was not important. We parted ways prompting yet another search. This one was not taken lightly as I was now a new mom with a whole new set of worries.

I was able to get an appointment in a new office which I used as almost an "interview" to see if we could work together. Instantly, I felt at ease; I felt peace and comfort. She is where I go for my mental health check-ups. Right after my brother died, I called her and was seeing her almost immediately. Based on what I have experienced, here are additional tips to finding care.

Tip #1

Take your time. Interview. Get a feel for the fit. Question. See if your goals match their plans to help.

Tip #2

Pay attention to the office setting and the staff. I strongly believe the office should be organized, calm, comforting, clean, and NICE. You are going there for your mental well being, if they are not nice, I can't imagine that feeling will sit well as you seek help. Pay attention to reviews and health grade websites that rate doctors/professionals. But bottom line, if you don't FEEL safe and secure, you may consider moving on.

Tip #3

If you are looking for a regular doctor, use this same search criteria. I am so blessed to have one who cares for my mental health as well as the physical. I remember panicking (irony) before my first appointment - I kept thinking, "I am not sick. They are going to think I am crazy for making an appointment for anxiety." Somehow, by the grace of God, I walked into the greatest office. This doctor takes his time; he cares, and he works with my concerns. He was crushed to learn of my brother's death and sat with me as I cried. When your mental health is involved, you DESERVE compassion.

Tip #4

Do not be afraid to start a conversation with your chosen care professional if you do not feel things are clicking or you are not making progress. It can be scary to start this dialogue, but it is SO important for you. If where you're seeking help is a good place, he/she will want you to be comfortable and make that progress.

And this is where my drive for these posts come from - my brother's "mental health care professional" was not compassionate. The office staff was not kind - not then and definitely not after his death. It's because of our experience here that I urge you to know your options. Do your research. Write down your reasons for going. Ask all the questions you want. Do not settle because you want a quick fix. Just like when we are physically sick, we need the right treatment. I firmly believe this MUST be the same for our mental well being.

Thank you again for allowing me to share my passion about our mental health. Our hearts. Our futures. I am so blessed that my sweet mom has given me her blessing on sharing more of our story. We pick up more pieces each day still, and I know we feel called to encourage others to advocate for yourself and your loved ones.

As long as there is one person needing to hear these words, our hearts are happy. Remember - you are not alone.

Sources for today's post include Kate Burrows from Mommyhood and Mental Health as well as Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Health.


  1. So many people get confused between the three and seek help in the wrong way. Great information a post.

  2. This is full of great information. I will be sharing it elsewhere. Mental health has such a stigma attached to it, it breaks my heart to see people suffer rather than get the help they need and deserve. This country is definitely in a mental health crisis. Posts like this can help. Thank you!


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