KNOW YOUR FOCUS
Start by asking yourself what you’d like help with. Are you looking for someone to talk to? Are you looking for someone who has worked with people like you before? Are you looking for someone to prescribe medicine if need be?
Here’s a breakdown of the different roles in mental healthcare, so you can have a better idea of what you’re looking for. It’s also okay if you don’t know. The most important thing is to reach out to a professional to start the process.
ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
If you can talk to people in your community about mental health, ask someone you trust who they like or would recommend. You can also Google “community health center” to find one near you, and then you can call to see if they have recommended providers near you.
Once you have a few options (or even one option), call to see if they accept your insurance or, if not, if they have a sliding scale that fits your budget. Then set up an appointment so you can see if they’re the right fit for you. It’s important to feel comfortable, listened to, and understood by your practitioner, from both a personal and cultural perspective. Here are some questions to ponder: