It is sometimes difficult to acknowledge that you might need mental health services. Even if you believe that you or someone that you love might need mental health services, it can be difficult to know where to turn. The first step in getting help is acknowledging that you need help; the second step is trying to figure out where to get help. There are several options to find the help you need, some of which include asking your family doctor or clergy, your insurance company, eligible veterans can get care through their local Veterans affairs, your company’s employee assistance program, local support programs such as Narcotics and Alcohol Anonymous, Medicare and Medicaid offers a list of participating providers, the yellow pages, internet searches in your area for providers, calling the regional 211 number and your local community mental health center, to name a few.

Once you have decided which mental health professional to call, take the time to talk with them on the telephone and ask about their approach to working with clients, their philosophy, their degree and license, and whether or not they have a specialty or concentration. If after a brief telephone conversation you feel comfortable that they can help you, schedule an appointment. If you can’t speak with a specific provider on the telephone, you can ask these questions during your first appointment.

During the first appointment you can expect that the person will want to get to know you. They will ask why you called, what you think the problem is, what you do for a living, who you are living with, and if you have family and friends living in the area. It is important that you are honest with them. There is nothing that you will say that will shock or surprise them. The more honest you are with them, the more they will understand whether or not they can help you. Everything that you tell them is confidential. Unless there is a legal reason to break confidentiality (harm to self or others, child abuse and/or neglect) they cannot share any information you provide without a release of information signed by you.

Treatment is not an easy process. Sometimes people feel worse before they feel better. The important part is that you are seeking help. You have decided that you want to feel better and that you are the driver in your journey of recovery. The important thing to remember is that people recover; 70-80 % of people who participate in treatment report a significant reduction in symptoms and improvement in their quality of life. If after a few sessions you don’t feel that your current provider is the right person for you, then try another provider. Do not give up on yourself. You may just need to find the person that can work with you the best. Just like in your personal life, you need to choose your provider like you would choose your family physician, your pastor, and your friends.

If you are interested in receiving services through Gogebic Community Mental Health Authority, you can call NorthCare Access at 1-888-906-9060. Screeners through NorthCare Access will complete a brief 20 minute telephone screening with you to determine if you are eligible for services at Gogebic Community Mental Health. Gogebic Community Mental Health provides services to individuals who have a serious and persistent mental illness and/or a developmental disability. If the NorthCare Access Screener determines that you are eligible for services at Community Mental Health, they will schedule an assessment for you with a provider at Community Mental Health. If they determine that you are not eligible for services, they will provide information on other local treatment providers.

If you think you are in crisis, you can call the Gogebic Community Mental Health crisis line at 1-800-348-0032, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, and speak with a crisis worker. You do not have to be a recipient of mental health services to utilize this crisis number. If you do not want to call the crisis line, but still feel the need to speak with someone, you can contact DIAL HELP at 1-800-562-7622. If you are uncertain about what you need, have questions or concerns, you can call Community Mental Health at 906-229-6120 during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and we can talk with you about your treatment needs.

Getting the Help you Need