Talking about my problems
How can talking to a mental health care provider help?
Talking to someone about your difficulties is one way to get help with a mental health problem. Sometimes it is enough to talk to a family member or friend who will listen and be supportive. But if your problem continues, it may help to speak to someone who is not connected to your life - a mental health care provider with a neutral point of view, and with whom you feel safe.
How much will treatment cost?
Treatment from a psychiatrist or GP is covered by public health insurance (such as OHIP in Ontario), and will not cost you anything. Other mental health care providers, such as psychologists and social workers, may also be free if they work in government-funded hospitals, clinics or agencies or an employee assistance program. If psychotherapists work in a private practice, their services will not be covered by public health insurance, and you will be charged a fee.
How will I know if treatment is working?
As part of your therapy, you will set goals for what you would like to change. If you meet these goals over time, the therapy is probably working.
It is important for your recovery that there is a good relationship between you and the therapist. You may need to try more than one therapist to find one you are comfortable with.
Results do not necessarily happen overnight. In fact, you may feel worse at the start as issues are brought to the surface.
Are there community supports to help me?
Here are some examples of programs that can support you, depending on where you live and what you need.
Mental health agencies can help you find services and resources in your community.
Self-help or mutual aid groups are made up of people who share the same issue or mental health problem, either in themselves or in a family member.
Community information centres can give you information about services in your area, such as day care, health care, immigration, housing, sexual assault, and mental health agencies.
Consumer/survivor initiatives are run by and for people who use or have used the mental health system. They offer education, information and support.
Alcohol and other drug treatment services may offer programs from people who have both an addiction and mental health problem.
Distress Lines, such as 911, put you in touch with people who can help you in an emergency. You can find other local numbers in the front of the telephone book.
You may want to ask about specialized services that are sensitive to your age (for example, for youth or older adults), gender, sexual orientation, race or culture. If you live in a small community, however, these options may not be available.