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Mental Health America's fact sheet "Finding the Right Care" and some of the sites listed below provide detailed information to help you choose a mental health professional and to enable you to better understand treatment options and the treatment process. Sites providing specialized treatment referrals for specific illnesses also include considerable information about the specific illness.
If you, or someone you know is in crisis, please seek help immediately. Contact the following organizations for information about 24-hour crisis services in your area:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's 24 hour toll-free crisis hotline, 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) can put you into contact with your local crisis center that can tell you where to seek immediate help in your area.
The Child-Help USA 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453) crisis line assists both child and adult survivors of abuse, including sexual abuse. The hotline, staffed by mental health professionals, also provides treatment referrals.
In areas where 211 is available, dialing this number can connect you with mental health crisis services in your area or help you find where to seek immediate help in your area.
For referrals to affordable community mental health services:
Your local Mental Health America affiliate is an excellent resource for information about local programs and services including affordable treatment services.
Network of Care offers information including descriptions of community treatment services and other supports for the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. For some states, information about all counties is currently included; for others only some counties are currently listed. Click on your state, then click on Services (top right) to begin your search.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Health Information Network (SHIN) has a Mental Health Facilities Locator that can also help you find community outpatient, inpatient and residential treatment facilities, including affordable mental health services in your area.
The SAMHSA Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator and the SAMHSA 24/7 Treatment and Referral line at 1.800.662.4357 provide referrals to alcohol, substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment facilities, including facilities that offer sliding scale fees and other special payment arrangements. Dual diagnosis services provide integrated treatment for individuals who have both an alcohol or substance abuse problem and a mental illness. Use the detailed search option on the left hand side of the page to find the facilities that most closely match your needs.
Rehab Locator offers a searchable database for drug and alcohol rehab centers.
Universities or teaching hospitals may also be a source of low-cost or free treatment services. It is recommended that you contact those in your area.
The World Federation for Mental Health can assist people from other countries throughout the world in finding mental health services in their area.
For referral to individual mental health providers:
You can use Psychology Today's Therapy Directory to search for mental health professionals in your area. You can search by zip code, city, last name, etc. For each provider listed, you can read about their therapy approach, specialty areas, information about their fees including whether they accept insurance and whether they offer sliding scale fees, as well as their credentials and contact information. There are a variety of options for sorting your results to find providers who most closely match your needs. You can also send them an initial e-mail.
The Therapist Referral Network at 1-800-843-7274 and 1-858-481-1515 provides referrals to individual mental health professionals. Providers participate in a variety of insurance plans. Some offer affordable fee structures and may accept Medicare and Medicaid.
GoodTherapy offers a searchable database of over 1600 counselors and therapists worldwide. GoodTherapy is dedicated to promoting healthy counseling and psychotherapy.
The Medicare Physician Compare can assist you in finding a physician who is enrolled in Medicare.
Your state Medicaid office, whose contact information can be found using the map on the National Association of State Medicaid Directors site, may be able to assist you in finding a provider who accepts Medicaid.
There are a number of professional provider associations and other national organizations that provide treatment referral services. These organizations are listed below with links to their websites.
Professional provider associations that provide treatment referral services include:
- American Counseling Association
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- American Association of Pastoral Counselors
- American Medical Association
- American Psychiatric Association's Choosing a Psychiatrist (PDF)
- American Psychological Association
- American Residential Treatment Association
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
- National Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapists
- National Association of Social Workers
- National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
Professional provider organizations that serve specific audiences include:
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
- American Association of Children's Residential Centers (Note:You can sort list of member treatment centers by state and reach the national office by calling 877-332-2272 )
- Association of Black Psychologists
- Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- National Medical Association at 1-800-662-0554 (Physician Locator Service maintains a list of African American psychiatrists)
- Self Reliance Foundation/Acceso Hispano 800-473-3003
- Su Familia (National Alliance for Hispanic Health) at 1-866-783-2645
Other organizations that offer specialized treatment referral services included:
- ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) A description of various types of therapy used in treating people witih eating disorders is found at the following link Therapy Information
- AllTreatment.com is an aggregator that provides a number of listings for substance use treatment facilities.
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America: Treatment Centers
- ATTACh at 866-453-8224 (Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children offers treatment referrals for children with attachment disorder)
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association
- Autism Society of America
- The Balanced Mind Foundation (formerly the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation)
- Behavioral Tech, LLC (treatment referrals for borderline personality disorder)
- Brain Injury Association of America and http://www.biausa.org/state-affiliates.htm (list of their state offices)
- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (patient to patient recommendation section)
- Freedom from Fear (treatment referrals for anxiety and depression; Use the Findhing Help/Resources option on the left hand side of the home page)
- Give an Hour ( a non-profit organization offering free mental health services for returning Veterans and their loved ones through a network of mental health professionals who volunteer their time)
- Hospice Foundation of America at 1-800-868-5171(grief counseling)
- International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (See Find a Doctor Online under "Information and Resources" on right-hand side of the home page)
- International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
- Male Survivor (treatment referrals for men who have been sexually abused)
- National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (Dept. of Veterans Affairs PTSD Information Center offers information about ptsd and its treatment. Look for box on the right hand side of the page "Where to Get Help" to access the section of the site with links to the VA facilities locator and other informational resources)
- National Center for Trauma-Informed Care
- National Eating Disorders Association
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at 1-800-658-8898 (grief counseling)
- Postpartum Support International (Use the Find Local Support, Resources, and Events option to find contact information for the State Coordinator for your state to get a list of psychiatrists and therapists in your area who specialize in reproductive-related mood disorders in women of all ages).
- Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (counseling centers throughout the U.S.)
- S.A.F.E. Alternatives (treatment referrals for self injury)
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (You can go to Finding Help for Sexually Abused Children and click on the National Network Members page option, to search by state for programs in your area.)
- TARA at 1-888-482-7227 (Treatment and Research Advancements National Association for Personality Disorder; treatment referrals for borderline personality disorder)
- TRICARE (mental health services for military personnel and their families)
- U.S. Vets (a non-profit organization that helps homeless veterans access mental health and substance abuse services along with housing and other community supports to achieve successful reintegration into the community. Current locations include California, Texas, Arizona, Washington DC, Nevada, and Hawaii)