Demystifying Mental Health CareClinical Expertise
Jul 7, 2021
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of mental wellness has become more important than ever. As more people have had to deal with increased stress and responsibilities with less access to usual coping strategies, mental health has taken a major hit. This may lead people to feel more anxious, depressed or irritable than usual, and could get in the way of daily life activities. Seeking mental health care has become increasingly important to help manage this stress. In addition, after a major illness or injury, taking care of emotional health is just as important to recovery as physical health.
Seeking support from a mental health provider in addition to self-help skills such as healthy lifestyle behaviors and social connection is important if emotions are interfering with work, family life, or leisure activities. Here is what to expect when looking for and meeting a mental health provider.
Finding a therapist
- Start by looking at your insurance list of covered providers in your area. Many therapists have telehealth options.
- Your primary care physician may be able to recommend and refer you to a provider.
- Several websites can help you find providers:
- Find a Psychologist: https://www.findapsychologist.org/
- Florida Psychological Association: https://www.flapsych.com/search/custom.asp?id=1236
- Look for specialty areas such as adjustment/coping with medical issues and illness, LGBTQ+ expertise, trauma/PTSD treatment or mood/anxiety disorders.
- Expect to complete a history and questionnaire form before the first appointment.
The first session
- If you are meeting by telehealth, find a quiet, private place so you feel comfortable talking openly about what you are feeling. Using headphones and closing the door are helpful.
- Your therapist will ask questions about your medical, emotional and other family history, including the symptoms you have been experiencing recently.
- Ask any questions you have about the process and timeline of therapy.
- Relationship matters! Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with your therapist. You may not find the best fit on your first try.
- Think about your goals with therapy, and discuss these goals during the first session.
How can Brooks help?
- During inpatient rehabilitation at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital, Psychology Services are available in-person during hospitalization to support coping and adjustment.
- Brooks Behavioral Medicine provides services focused on helping people cope with medical illness/injury and functional change, dealing with medical trauma, and learning behavioral pain management skills. Psychological evaluation and treatment are provided via telehealth (secure video conferencing) and limited in-person options.