I’m struggling with my mental health! But who can help me?
There are several professionals that can help with issues we may face, to guide us to move forward and have healthier and more satisfying lives. With so many choices, it can be confusing to know which professional would be best for you or for your loved one. If you’re dealing with challenges like anxiety, depression, psychosis, or unresolved trauma, here are some professionals that can help.
Psychologists have training in conducting psychological evaluations, diagnosing mental health disorders, and providing treatment with approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy. Usually psychologists have studied in a particular specialization like clinical psychology or neuropsychology. A psychologist will either have a master’s degree or a PhD. Since they do not have medical training like a doctor, however, they are not able to prescribe medication.
With specialized medical training in psychiatric problems, psychiatrists have a medical degree with a focus in psychiatry. This means they can both diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication treatment to stabilize these conditions. Some psychiatrists will also do counselling or psychotherapy.
Working with individuals or families on a one-on-one basis, social workers can serve as a link to community organizations and institutions. They may also aid in finding housing arrangements and/or provide guidance to certain day programs that would benefit the individual. Some social workers have training in psychotherapy, but they are not licensed psychologists or medical doctors. They have either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in social work.
Psychotherapists work with individuals to help them improve their lives by providing tools and resources that will aid them to address problems and reach goals. They also tackle issues like personal development, how to deal with a crisis, and how to understand and work on inner conflict and emotions. They cannot diagnose mental illnesses like a psychologist, however. They have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD.
Occupational therapists can support individuals with their mental health. Along with helping with certain physical issues or limitations, they can also help an individual reintegrate into their community or regular lives by adaptation and rehabilitation. This is often helpful following accidents, medical challenges, or disabilities. They do not have the training or the license to prescribe medication or diagnose illnesses, but may be able to administer psychotherapy. They either have a bachelor or master of science in occupational therapy.
A family doctor has the medical training to not only help individuals with their physical health but their mental health as well. They can diagnose illnesses and create a treatment plan. They can also prescribe medication and certain procedures such as blood tests to rule out any specific issues that may present themselves in physical symptoms, as well as provide referrals to see specialists.
The First Steps to Getting Help
Now you know the different options available and which might be suitable in your situation. Here are some options for obtaining the help and support you or your loved one may need:
Call Info-Santé by dialing 811. You can speak with a professional about your struggles and they can direct you to the right resource. The line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Speak to your doctor or your family medicine group. They can come up with a plan for treatment or support.
Contact a community organization or crisis centre. They can provide valuable support with your struggles.
Visit amiquebec.org/therapy. You can also consult the Order of Psychologists of Quebec, Google “psychologists” or “psychotherapists” in your area, or ask someone you trust if they have a recommendation.
Put your name on a waiting list at your CLSC. Although help is not immediate, it’s worth putting your name on the list. Think of it as being one step closer to finding a therapist.
If you are a student, contact the health worker or department at your school, CEGEP, or university. They will have specific tools to help you.
If you have already received help from a particular resource, contact them again if the need arises.
If the situation is of immediate urgency, go to a hospital emergency room or call 911.
And AMI-Quebec is here to support you and your loved ones! Explore our website for useful resources and relevant articles. Do not hesitate to contact us for support and guidance.
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