Types of Mental Health Professionals - Which One Should You Choose?
As the pandemic continues with no immediate end in sight, there has been an increased focus on looking at mental health during this unprecedented time. Many have lost loved ones and are experiencing bereavement and grief while others are struggling with feelings of isolation they never encountered before. No matter the reason and no matter the situation, mental health is on a lot of people's minds.
Looking at mental health statistics in 2020
While some might love the extra time at home, others might feel stifled and isolated in lockdown. It’s a mixed bag, and as recent stats show, there is a real push for increased mental health awareness that is not just relegated to large cities or other places where movement outside the house has been limited. The pandemic has shown the precarious slope of mental health many are on, and has increased the number of people seeking mental health services to cope as the world remains uncertain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released mental health statistics that reinforce this idea. It is reported that 93% of countries experienced disruptions in mental health services or had to stop providing these services altogether. Grief, insomnia, anxiety, stress, and increased drug and alcohol usage have all increased during this time. Approximately 70% of countries have adopted telemedicine and teletherapy as a means to overcome the disruption. Frustratingly, these services are not as easy to access as they should be. Patients may not be aware of the types of mental health services available or how much they might cost.
Types of mental health resources available
To overcome the barrier of awareness, here are some of the mental health resources available and the critical differences between each: Psychotherapy, Psychologists, and Psychiatry. Between the 3 P’s, there is often a lot of confusion. While they are all related to one another and overlap, there is a distinction.
Psychotherapy is best for those trying to overcome emotional or relationship problems or trying to break unwanted habits. This is done either as traditional talk therapy, to identify the root causes of an issue, or by trying a more cognitive-behavioral approach to stop the causes of the behavior in question. Generally, psychotherapists are mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists who have specialized in psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists are a better option for those managing diagnosed mental health conditions or where there might be an underlying issue that has yet to be diagnosed. This is because psychiatrists are medical doctors that have studied mental health conditions from diagnosis to management and prevention. They can prescribe medication if needed, whereas psychologists and psychotherapists cannot.
Psychology is best for examining behaviors and thoughts and the motivations that underpin mental health issues. The focus is on learning, remembering, and exploring behaviors and challenges through talking therapy or counseling. Psychologists differ from psychiatrists because they did not complete medical school, and cannot prescribe medication.
Specific types of counseling (i.e., marriage counseling, work-related counseling)
Counseling, such as marriage counseling or work-related counseling, works when specific dynamics and issues need to be addressed with a psychologist. Marriage counseling is designed to help with marital issues and is done either together as a couple or with each partner seeing the marriage counselor separately. Meanwhile, work-related counseling helps manage stress and anxiety related to work by exploring related behaviors and habits.
Can life coaches help with mental health?
Life coaching is slightly different from the mental health resources mentioned above, but it can be valuable in certain contexts. Life coaching is helpful for making big decisions related to work and life, trying to increase productivity, or achieve your full potential. This is done by working together with certified professional life coaches to look at life goals, and how to work past barriers in attaining them.
With the uncertainty revolving around the pandemic and when it will end, it’s imperative to look after your mental health and wellbeing. There are mental health professionals available to help you every step of the way and to help you cope as best as possible. Although it’s often difficult to get the motivation to get in touch and schedule time, it does yield a lot of benefits in the long-term.
Reaching out and working with mental health professionals can make you feel less isolated and alone, and help you manage mental health issues in a constructive way.
How Tripment can help
At Tripment, we are excited about the opportunity to bring healthcare into the modern era, giving patients the ability to browse, book, and pay for medical procedures and consultations online. You can book a video appointment with a mental health specialist right now on our platform and find your zen!
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