This is part two of a four part series, on helping yourself (or someone you know) with a mental crisis. If you haven’t read my first post, you can catch up here.
To be quite honest, I have not utilized medical health professionals enough in my own life. Most of the time, I want to figure it out myself or completely ignore my symptoms. This roots from the screwed portrayal of resilience deeply embedded in the Filipino culture. I suffered through several months of negative self talk, shame, guilt, and the inability to function my daily life.
I will be discussing different avenues available to managing through a health crisis:
- Crisis Hotline
- primary care physician
- immediate help through
- in patient mental health facility
- local emergency room
If you or someone you know needs immediate help and it is unsafe to leave the location, please call 911. Self harm is not the answer — ever. The counselors talk individuals to a safe mental space and present other resources in their local area.
Primary Care Physician
This will be your first line of defense resource to help you with your mental health journey. It is the scariest first step to help and I can say that it was the hardest.
Clinical Liaison: Therapist and Psychiatrist
I did not know there was a difference between a therapist and psychiatrist at the beginning of my journey. Both clinicians gave me the steps to take hold of my mental illness.
A psychotherapist, also known as a therapist, talks you through your feelings and give tools to manage those feelings. There are some therapists are able prescribe medication. However, majority of therapist do not prescribe medications and refer individuals to a psychiatrist.
A psychiatrist strictly notates your symptoms, prescribes medication, and there is minimal psychotherapy. The psychiatrist main objective is to find the correct medication(s) and dosage(s).
Immediate Care: In Patient Mental Health Facility vs. Emergency Room
In-Patient Mental Health Facility
This is the most intense resource you have available to you. In patient stay is based upon symptoms and the patient’s answers.The facility may deem an individual as unsafe to have a temporary stay at the facility.
The process, usually, goes as followed:
- meets with a psychiatrist
- within a 24 hour period
- prescribed medication
- meets a therapist
- attends group therapy
- attends alternative therapies
- horse therapy
- dog therapy
- singing therapy
- art therapy
While I can only pull from my experience with an in patient facility, I would say it is the best help for immediate assistance i.e. self harm. Depending on the facilities protocol, patients stay for a minimum of a week.
Hospital Emergency Room
If a mental health facility is not in close proximity, the closest hospital emergency room is the next safest place. The emergency room staff will place the patient on a medical hold until an appropriate plan of care is established.
The Series Continues…
Each resource has their own benefit based solely on the individual’s immediate need. The ultimate goal for each medical professional, clinical liaison or facility is to treat an individual respectfully through the darkest time in their life. These resources are a good, safe place to start anyone’s healing.
Who helped you in the initial stages of your journey? Share your story below, I’d love to hear it! Join me next time as I discuss tools to help manage mental health conditions.
See you next week.