Help for Mental Illnesses

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If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member.

Please note that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)is a research funding agency. Resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. The list is not comprehensive and does not constitute an endorsement by NIMH. 

Get Immediate Help in a Crisis

Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En Español 1-888-628-9454 

The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects callers to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Crisis Text Line

Text “HELLO” to 741741 

The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

Veterans Crisis Line

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255 

The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss can call 1-800-799-4889.

Disaster Distress Helpline

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 

The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.

View the NIMH 5 action steps for helping someone in emotional pain infographic to see how you can help those in distress.

Find a Health Care Provider or Treatment

Treatment for mental illnesses usually consists of therapymedication, or a combination of the two. Treatment can be given in person or through a phone or computer (telehealth). It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start when looking for mental health care, but there are many ways to find a provider who will meet your needs.

Primary Care Provider: Your primary care practitioner can be an important resource, providing initial mental health screenings and referrals to mental health specialists. If you have an appointment with your primary care provider, consider bringing up your mental health concerns and asking for help.

Federal Resources: Some federal agencies offer resources for identifying health care providers and help in finding low-cost health services. These include:

National Agencies and Advocacy and Professional Organizations: Advocacy and professional organizations can be a good source of information when looking for a mental health provider. They often have information on finding a mental health professional on their website, and some have practitioner locators on their websites. Examples include but are not limited to:

State and County Agencies: The website of your state or county government may have information about health services in your area. You may be able to find this information by visiting their websites and searching for the health services department.

Insurance Companies: If you have health insurance, a representative of your insurance company will know which local providers are covered by your insurance plan. The websites of many health insurance companies have searchable databases that allow you to find a participating practitioner in your area.

University, College, or Medical Schools: Your local college, university, or medical school may offer treatment options. To find these, try searching on the website of local university health centers for their psychiatry, psychology, counseling, or social work departments.

Help for Service Members and Their Families: Current and former service members may face different mental health issues than the general public. For resources for both service members and veterans, please visit the page Help for Service Members and Their Families page or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ mental health page.

Deciding if a Provider is Right for You

Once you find a potential provider it can be helpful to prepare a list of questions to help you decide if they are a good fit for you. Examples of questions you might want to ask a potential provider include:

  • What experience do you have treating someone with my issue?
  • How do you usually treat someone with my issue?
  • How long do you expect treatment to last?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • What are your fees?

For tips for talking with your healthcare provider, refer to the NIMH Taking Control of Your Mental Health: Tips for Talking with Your Health Care Provider fact sheet.

Treatment works best when you have a good relationship with your mental health provider. If you aren’t comfortable or are feeling like the treatment is not helping, talk with your provider, or consider finding a different provider or another type of treatment. If you are a child or adolescent, consider speaking with your doctor or another trusted adult. Do not stop current treatment without talking to your doctor.

US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Substance Use

Hazelden Betty Ford


(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

American Addiction Centers

Teen Challenge

Revelations of Freedom Ministries

US Dept. of Veterans Affairs Substance Use

Hazelden Betty Ford

National Alliance on Mental Health

American Psychological Association

American Board of Professional Psychology

American Academy of Clinical Psychology

American Psychiatric Association Https://

National Institute on Mental Health

Intervention Central

Mental Health Links The following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health care information and counseling resources.

Addiction and Recovery Alcoholic’s Anonymous Center on Addiction SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse/Addiction Treatment and Recovery Addictions Rehab Spot

Anxiety Disorders Answers to Your Questions About Panic Disorder National Center for PTSD for Veterans Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) International OCD Foundation Calm Clinic

Associations & Institutes Child & Adolescent Psychiatry American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy American Counseling Association American Psychiatric Association American Psychological Association Association for Psychological Science Canadian Mental Health Association Center for Mental Health Resources National Institute of Mental Health Mental Health America Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse 

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder What is ADD Attention Deficit Disorder?

Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Childhelp USA® The Center Online Help for Women and Families Child Trauma Trauma and Violence The National Domestic Violence Hotline Website Violence Against Women

Chronic Fatigue Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Depression Bifferences Between Bipolar and Depression Depression and How Therapy Can Help Depression Screening Depression Test, Symptoms of Depression, Signs of Depression

Developmental Disorders Asperger’s Disorder Neuro Disorders Yale Autism and Neurodevelopment Program

Diagnosis DSM-5

Dissociation and Traumatic Stress Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute

Eating Disorders Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Eating DisordersEating Disorder Hope Eating Disorders and Symptoms

Journals & Magazines ADHD Report Anxiety, Stress and Coping Autism Childhood Contemporary Hypnosis Dementia Depression and Anxiety Drug and Alcohol Review Dyslexia Early Child Development and Care Eating Disorders Educational Assessment Journal of Gambling Studies Journal of Happiness Studies Journal of Mental Health and Aging Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Language and Cognitive Processes Loss, Grief & Care Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Metaphor and Symbol Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Parenting at Home Personal Relationships Personality and Individual Differences Psychiatric Bulletin Psychology of Men & Masculinity Psychology Today Stress and Health Substance Abuse Trauma, Violence & Abuse

Medications and Health Supplements Drug Interactions FDA Approved Medications PDR Medications Medline, Comparison Multivitamins

Mental Health Care General Links Resources for Therapists, Counselors, & Coaches Mental Help University of Michigan Health Library

Personality Disorders Personality Disorders What is a Personality Disorder? Do You Have A Personality Disorder?

Suicide Awareness and Hotlines Suicide Prevention Suicide Awareness Voices of Education Thoughts of Suicide? Read This First.

Additional Mental Health Care & Counseling Resources Coping after Disaster/Trauma Keirsey (Myers-Briggs) Temperament Sorter

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