Did you know that one out of every five people across the world needs counseling and other treatments for a mental health issue? Yet, only about half receive needed help, says the National Institute of Mental Health. If you believe you or a loved one should pursue counseling, here’s some information on this important way to achieve your best mental health, function, and overall well-being.
What Does a Mental Health Counselor Do?
A mental health counselor is a fully licensed, educated, and experienced professional who helps children, teens, adults, and seniors sort through their feelings related to:
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more
- Substance use (alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs)
- Interpersonal conflicts
- Effects of sexual abuse and physical assault
- Grief, bereavement, and other major life losses, such as loss of a job, home, or other mainstays of everyday life
- Social phobias involving meeting new people, starting conversations, making trips outside the home, and more
The counselor diagnoses mental health issues and can help treat them with individual or group therapies, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and talk therapy. Mental health counselors help people stay functional within their workplaces and communities by assisting with skill-building; maintaining as much independence and quality of life as possible is always a goal of mental health counseling. These professionals may coordinate care with other professionals and facilities if needed.
A mental health counselor CANNOT prescribe medications. He or she can help coordinate services from a stand-alone clinic, private practice, school, hospital, workplace, and other entities.
Who Should Seek Mental Health Counseling?
Individuals with difficulty controlling their emotions or exhibiting drastic changes in mood, day-to-day function, or interpersonal relationships should seek mental health counseling. Mental health counselors are dedicated to helping people develop coping strategies and overcome obstacles that block their happiness, self-esteem, and productivity in society.
Additionally, it’s important for the individual to partner with a counselor who takes their health insurance and has experience and expertise in the areas of concern–alcohol abuse or depression as examples. As with any kind of health care, the individual or a family member should ask the primary care physician or a trusted friend for a recommendation. Exploring a counselor’s website can yield important information about credentials and philosophy of practice, too.
Mental Health Counseling in Chesterfield, VA
At Epic Health Partners in Danville, Martinsville, and Richmond, VA, our mental health counselors deliver one on one assessments of a wide range of mental health issues and comprise adjustable treatment plans which stabilize conditions and help people regain normal mood and function.
To learn more about what mental health counseling can do for you or a loved one, call us today at (434) 833-4601. You can also schedule your appointment online using our convenient appointment request form.
Also, if you have thoughts of self-harm, please do not wait. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 873-TALK (8255) or text 714-741. There’s always real help and real hope.