13 May 2013
Mental Health Monday
Today's Mental Health Monday post is about getting help if you need it. Often, people find themselves in a crisis and they don't know where to start. There are tons of resources out there for finding treatment providers, or just finding someone to talk to about what's going on in your life.
SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national agency whose purpose is to "target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research in these areas more effectively and more rapidly into the general health care system. Over the years SAMHSA has demonstrated that - prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. Behavioral health services improve health status and reduce health care and other costs to society. Continued improvement in the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery support services provides a cost effective opportunity to advance and protect the Nation's health." (SAMHSA website)
SAMHSA has several tools to help individuals in need. One is their Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. This website's sole function is to help a person find mental health or substance abuse treatment programs throughout the country. SAMHSA also has a toll-free, confidential Treatment Finder hotline, available 24/7 in English and Spanish: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).
Another tool is their Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990. You can also reach them via SMS by texting 'TalkWithUs' to 66746. This hotline provides 24/7, multilingual crisis counseling and intervention for individuals who have experienced a disaster (think Hurricane Sandy). Know someone who has been impacted by a disaster? There's a great list of warning signs that the person may need some extra support.
Well, that's all the SAMHSA links.
Next up is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (see the badge over on the right?) This is another 24/7, toll-free, and confidential helpline. You call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and you are connected to the nearest crisis call center in their network (which spans more than 150 centers). This hotline provides crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
For the Northern Virginia area, there's the more local Crisis Link (which is our regional provider for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). Their number is (703) 527-4077. Crisis Link started as a teen hotline and quickly expanded the services it provides. They have a great flyer for how to help someone in a suicidal crisis and another one about suicide warning signs.
Need support? NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness often has lists of support groups in your area. This agency is a huge advocate for individuals experiencing mental illness. There's also DBSA, the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. They run support groups all over the country. Having a substance abuse crisis? You can try to find an AA meeting close to you, you can call the Coalition against Drug Abuse's hotline at 1-800-943-0566, or you can look into SMART Recovery (866-951-5357).
Hopefully these links will help you, or someone you know, get the help that you or they need. The hardest part is asking for help!