The first step when anyone is suffering is to seek help from a qualified professional or support organization. This could an organization like NAMI, a school counselor, a member of the clergy or your local referral agencies.
Family or peers should be involved early in the process. Besides family or peers needing to support their family member when they are having problems, youth cannot access mental health-treatment themselves. They need the help from their family or peers.
How do family members or peers locate a well-trained mental-health provider? In most cases family or peers can contact their insurance company for a list of providers. Once this list is obtained, work with a primary-care provider to find out who they recommend. The best situation is to see someone who specializes in their specific diagnosis.
In An Immediate Emergency Situation if you or someone is in immediate risk - Call 911
If the family member has been diagnosed with a severe mental illness consider requesting the support of a specially trained CIT officer.
If you are concerned but there is no immediate risk go to your closest Emergency Room for evaluation.
Call your Insurance provider and request information about your options to see a licensed mental health provider.
If you work, check with your Human Resources department to find out about Employee Assistance Programs.
The Utah 211 Information line can refer you to a mental-health agency or support professional if you need assistance outside the Salt Lake Valley. 211 Info Bank, a program of Community Services Council, is a free information and referral line for health, human and community services. 211 provides information and referral on topics such as emergency food pantries, rental assistance, public health clinics, child care resources, support groups, legal aid, and a variety of non-profit and governmental agencies. www.informationandreferral.org
The Role of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH),
The DSAMH is the single state authority for public substance abuse and mental health programs and is charged with ensuring that prevention and treatment services are available throughout the State. The DSAMH contracts with the local county government authorities designated by statute to provide prevention and treatment services. The DSAMH monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of the services provided and provides technical assistance to the local authorities. The DSAMH also provides supervision of the administration of the Utah State Hospital.
For information about the Utah State Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, visit: http://www.hsmh.state.ut.us/
For information about local substance abuse and mental health services: http://www.uacnet.org/ubhn/members.php
It is never easy to talk to a family member or friend about mental illness or suicide, but the following communication tips offer a way to lessen the tension during the discussion.
Psychological testing refers to tests given to evaluate the intellectual, learning, emotional and/or behavioral functioning of an individual. Children are typically referred for an assessment by their parents, pediatrician, or school for evaluation of:
The tests vary depending upon the referral question(s), and can include a comprehensive interview, an assessment of intellectual capability; the person's learning and processing ability, their level of attention and memory, academic achievement, self-report surveys, parent and teacher checklists, and a school observation.
One or two testing sessions may be scheduled, depending on the age of the patient and the number of tests/measures being given. Your psychologist can answer any questions that you may have regarding specific names of tests that will be administered during testing. If you are concerned about your child and want to find out about evaluation contact your school district counselors. A listing is provided in Resources and Support.
Remember this is a biological illness, just like diabetes, cancer or asthma. It is due to an imbalance of brain chemicals, which may require medications to decrease symptoms or can be treated through therapy.
While therapy itself will not stabilize the mood problem, therapy can be used to understand the illness and how it affects the individual, as well as to help cope with having a significant illness at any age.
Basically the job of the psychiatrist is to make patient' feel comfortable and safe, so they can tell their stories and describe their symptoms. The doctor also talks to the family or peers to get their perspective. The evaluation looks at Biologic, Psychological, and Social factors.
Biology: Just like asthma and diabetes, mental-health problems like depression or anxiety disorders run in families. The doctor takes a family history, looking at what kinds of problems run in the family. Biology also comes into play if medical problems are complicating the picture. Some medical problems and some medications are more likely to affect mood, so a good medical history is important. Sometimes a physical exam, blood work, and other tests are ordered to evaluate medical problems.
Psychology: Each person has his/her own personality which is unique. Some people are optimists, some pessimists, some are confident, while others have poor self esteem. People may be outgoing or shy. They may need lots of down time, or they may thrive on activities. It is vital to understand how someone views the world, and how he/she communicate with others. It is also important to understand his/her hopes and their dreams.
Social: While some people enjoy a great social support system, others deal with a lot of stress in their lives. Stress can come from so many directions. Some teens have learning disabilities; others have to deal with family problems, such as divorce, or a parent who is struggling. One of the worst types of stress is caused by emotional, physical, or sexual harassment or abuse. It is important to understand how specific problems are overwhelming the individual and what can be done to reduce his/her stress to a manageable level.
Mental-Health Professionals & Levels of Treatment All mental-health professionals, after an initial diagnosis, should develop a comprehensive treatment plan which will address biology, individual psychology, and social issues.
For example, a treatment plan might include accommodations for school, work, a social skills group, medication for depression, regular exercise, and a behavioral plan to reduce conflicts.