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7 Sites to Help You Cope with Mental Illness

February 19, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
If you or someone close to you is dealing with mental illness, there are good resources available to you online to help you assess your options and seek the best care possible.  At these seven sites, patients, their families and caregivers will get information about selecting a therapist, exploring treatment options and finding online support groups.

Finding a Therapist

The APA Help Center provides articles, tips, and information on an array of physical and mental health topics, including “A psychologist can help when you can't do it on your own,” an article that explains everything you'll need to know if you're thinking about seeing a therapist, such as how to know it’s time to see a therapist, what type of insurance coverage you’ll need, and how to choose a therapist who's right for you.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides an overview of some of the most traditional forms of psychotherapy, including cognitive therapy, client-centered therapy and psychoanalysis. This site also links to other mental health organizations.

The National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology is an organization that credentials psychologists. Their site Find a Psychologist allows you to search for a qualified psychologist by location, name, theoretical orientation, expertise and other criteria. This site also features recent news in psychology, information on how to choose a psychologist and links to information on prominent issues in mental health.

Is Medication Necessary?

The National Institute of Mental Health delivers this all-encompassing guide to medication. The "booklet" covers a range of topics like what to ask your doctor, side effects, and information on medications for special groups (e.g., children), and classes of psychiatric drugs (e.g., antidepressants).

Safe Harbor’s International Guide to the World of Mental Health is a warehouse of information on drug-free approaches to mental health treatment. The most helpful feature on this site is the articles section, which covers a variety of alternative treatments (nutrition, exercise, etc.), organized by disorder. Consult the directory of alternative practitioners if you are looking to meet with a health professional specializing in such treatments.

Considering Hospitalization

Making the arrangements for you or someone you love to seek help at a treatment center can be a frightening undertaking. Mental Health America offers a checklist for those in need of hospitalization, suggesting questions for each aspect of hospitalization, including check-in, during the stay, leaving the hospital, financial and insurance issues, and what to ask the therapist.

Get Online Support

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) calls untreated mental illness a “tragedy,” and hopes to erase the stigma of mental illness through education, awareness and support groups. Gain inspiration from NAMI ‘s “In Our Own Voice” project, which shares the stories of everyday people recovering from mental illness. Or join the conversation yourself by registering online (it’s free) and participating in any of the active discussion groups, which cover a range of subjects, including schizophrenia, major depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more.

Mental Earth Community is managed by New York psychologist Warren Selekman, Ph.D. and offers a “Safe and Secure Environment” for those suffering from mental illness. The site hosts a particularly large, active, and caring community that recognizes the benefits of humor; one discussion board encourages users to share and indulge in some trivia, games and jokes. Register to engage in a live chat or read personal blogs.

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