How to Seek Out Care

There are many things to learn in life that help you live independently – one of them is how to find the health and mental health care that you need or desire. There are a few basic things to know or consider when it’s time to seek out care.

If you are living at home or under 18, your parents/caregivers will most likely take part in helping you make a decision about choosing healthcare and mental health providers.  They can guide you to reliable sources of information and help you sort out your options – they might want to have a say in your decisions, but that can be something you can work out with them.  If you’re away at school, you might turn to a health center, counselor, or other adult whom you trust to help you make decisions about your care.

Good sources of information for finding mental health care are your health care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, etc.), other adults that you or your family trust, a school counselor or school nurse, or a member of the clergy whom you know/trust.

Another way to find care is through the internet, but you will want to be cautious about trusting any source of online information – you should double check with a trusted adult or advisor and ask them about the information you find.  Two sources of online information that you can review are your insurance company and school/college/university websites.

There are many things to consider before making the decision about mental health care – this includes talking to your parents and provider about confidentiality and privacy.  Before you start work in counseling, you’ll want to share your ideas and expectations about privacy and try to plan ahead of time what will be shared with your parents and what can be kept confidential.

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