9 Places to Get Help for Depressionby Eileen Bailey Health Writer
Depression is the second most common mental health disorder, with 6.7 percent of adults in the United States having at least one major depressive episode according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. When going through a depressive episode it can be hard to reach out for help and if you do, you may not know where to go. Keep reading to learn about nine places you can go for help for yourself or someone you know that is struggling with depression.
Your Doctor’s Office
Many people with depression start with their family doctor when seeking help because that is the doctor they trust, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force previously recommended that primary care doctors screen all adults and teens for depression. Your family doctor can talk to you about depression and prescribe medication if they feel comfortable doing so. If not, they can provide you with the names of doctors in your area who can help.
Call 911 for Emergency Services
If you feel suicidal, you can call 911. Many people believe that 911 is only for physical emergencies, but if you have severe depression (or another mental illness,) you can call 911 for help. Mental health crisis are emergencies the same as a physical health crisis.
Hospital Emergency Room
If you know you need immediate help but don’t want to call 911, you can walk into a hospital emergency room and request help. The medical professionals at the hospital will work with you to manage your crisis and provide you with places in your area you can go for follow up treatment.
Call a Helpline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential helpline for people in distress. The trained professionals can help you with preventing a crisis or talking to you to manage a crisis. Most helplines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They aren’t only for people considering suicide; anyone needing someone to talk to or is going through a hard time can call for support. Call 1-800-273-8255 or 800-SUICIDE (hearing impaired – 800-799-4TTY) (Spanish 888-628-9454).
Your Health Insurance Company
If you have health insurance, call the number on your insurance card. The staff at the insurance company can look up the appropriate health professional to manage a crisis and provide ongoing treatment or short-term help.
Some churches provide counselors. If you belong to a church, call the church office and ask if they provide pastoral or faith-based counseling services. Some people may feel more comfortable with counseling that incorporates their religion into treatment.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with mental illness. They provide information, support, and referrals to people with mental illness and their families. You can contact them through their website or by calling 800-950-NAMI or texting “NAMI” to 741741.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is an international organization that works to improve the quality of life of people living with anxiety and depression disorders. They provide a therapist directory, support group listings, and information about the disorders and self-help strategies. You can reach them through their website or by calling 240-485-1035.
Support groups allow you to talk with other people who understand what you are going through. They can reduce your feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Support groups are an important part of coping and overcoming problems according to the ADAA. Look up a support group in your area at ADAA Support Group Listings or National Alliance on Mental Illness.