How to access a therapist

By Brandi Bellamy, AMFT, PPS

Seeking mental health support is slowly becoming less stigmatized and more accessible to everyone. However, navigating the mental health system can still be complicated. Here are a few places you can start your mental wellness journey

School
School is a great place to search for mental health service providers. If you’re lucky, your school counselor will be a mental health trained professional or there will be a therapist or social worker that you can work with through the school. If not, that is okay. Ask your school counselor if they can work with you to help you find a mental health service provider. 

Insurance Provider
Affordability is a big factor in accessing mental health services. Your parent’s insurance provider may cover mental health services. They will let you know who you can see who is in your network, but it will be you and your parent’s job to contact them to see if they are accepting new patients and if they work with adolescents.

Crisis lines
A lot of people think that calling a crisis line is only meant for people who are currently in crisis, but as a former crisis line volunteer, the majority of the people that called or texted were not in crisis, but needed to feel listened to and validated. While this could feel therapeutic, it’s not a long term solution. Something else that these volunteers are excellent at is providing callers with appropriate resources. While they don’t have specific therapists in their resource bank, chances are they will have a resource to help you find a therapist in your area.

Online
If you are interested in looking up specific therapists in your area, here are a couple of good resources:

PsychologyToday

Your County’s Department of Health Services (Sacramento)

211 Sacramento

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