Finding a mental health provider can be really challenging. Where do you even begin to search for a provider? What will insurance cover? All of these make the process of finding help even more confusing and complicated.

Here are tips on navigating the mental health care system:

Help Finding a Provider

  • Remember: Behavioral health services are best provided as close to a patient’s community as possible so that the treatment plan can include important resources from a child’s natural support system and other local supportive services.
  • Talk with your school counselor, principal, or other trusted school personnel for help and support.
  • Speak with your pediatrician or other health care provider, such as your local children’s hospital. Not only is it important for them to know about all aspects of their patient’s health care, but most are knowledgeable about behavioral health treatment and are important members or the behavioral health care team. Some have developed great connections with behavioral health providers in the community.
  • Check out these other organizations who can provided a referral and help with your search:
  • Depending on your child’s health care coverage, different options will be available.
    • If you have insurance, call and see what is covered under your plan. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), you could also use them to help find services.
    • If you have health care through Medicaid, contact your local and state behavioral health state and county agencies. Medicaid coverage is rapidly changing. You may also be able to find independent practices who also accept Medicaid, so use all of your connections to make sure your know all of your local options.
    • If you don’t have insurance, some providers provide reduced costs or a sliding scale for mental health.
  • If at any time you are concerned that your child’s situation is not safe, call your county’s crisis line. If you or your child need immediate help due to having suicidal thoughts, go to your local emergency room immediately, call the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting "START" to 741-741.