Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
Don’t wait for your health care provider to ask about your mental health. Start the conversation. For five tips to help prepare and guide you on how to talk to your health care provider about your mental health and get the most out of your visit.
Insurance is a crucial tool that can grant access to needed treatment to get well. Health insurance helps pay for mental health care needs including checkups, visits to specialists, emergency care and hospital stays. In most cases insurance will keep a person from paying the full cost of medical services.
Getting insured or reviewing your current insurance plan may seem complicated, but knowing the basics can help you navigate the system successfully.
The most important step in treating a mental health condition sometimes feels like a challenging one: finding a mental health professional. A trustworthy and knowledgeable mental health professional will be a valuable ally. It may take a little time and persistence to locate this ally or assemble a team of allies. Following the plan below can increase the chance of finding someone whom you feel comfortable working with.
When you call, facility staff will ask questions about yourself. You can ask questions too. It’s important to make sure the services and facility are a good fit for you.
Learn More About Mental Disorders
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders, offers basic information on mental disorders, a range of related topics, and the latest mental health research.
It is not the intention of NIMH to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Consult with a qualified health care provider for diagnosis, treatment, and answers to your personal questions.