We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Accessing mental health resources is a crucial step in the recovery from mental or psychological distress. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States live with a mental health condition.

The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) state that mental health conditions are common in the U.S., and they can vary in degree of severity.

In this article, we look at the various mental health resources available to those who need them.

We also include information on many providers and organizations, and list resources according to the groups and conditions they support.

A mental health professional is talking to a group of people whoShare on Pinterest
Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images.

People should seek help if they experience:

  • persistent feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety
  • feelings of being overwhelmed
  • low energy
  • loss of motivation
  • loss of interest in things a person previously enjoyed
  • uncontrollable or intrusive thoughts
  • panic attacks
  • thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • domestic or sexual violence
  • adverse effects following a natural disaster
  • relationship difficulties
  • substance abuse
  • persistent memories of past trauma
  • prolonged periods of grief following a bereavement

People should also seek help if an emotional or mental condition causes changes in behavior or beliefs, or if family and friends notice a difference in the person’s behavior or attitude.

A variety of mental health professionals provide emotional support and treatment. The type a person chooses will depend on their needs and preferences.

If a person is unsure of which one to choose, consider talking to a family doctor or nurse practitioner for guidance and referral.

Options include:

Mental health counselors

These professionals provide individual and group counseling in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

Counselors can help with anxiety, depression, and other general mental health conditions. Some specialize in areas such as addiction, trauma, and relationship counseling.

Mental health counselors cannot prescribe medications.

Insurance may cover some mental health counselors — individuals should check with their insurance provider.

A person can learn more about what mental health counselors do here.

Psychologists

Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in psychology.

They can:

  • evaluate and treat mental health conditions
  • perform counseling and psychotherapy
  • carry out psychological testing

Licensed psychologists cannot typically write prescriptions, although this may vary from state to state.

Insurance providers can cover psychological services — individuals should check with their insurance provider.

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. They also understand the nature of physical conditions, enabling them to determine if physical symptoms may be causing emotional distress.

Psychiatrists can also monitor the effects of mental health conditions on physical ailments, such as blood pressure.

As they are medical doctors, psychiatrists can prescribe medications. They do not typically provide counseling services, but they can work with those who do.

A person can learn more about psychiatrists here.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner

Psychiatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing mental health services.

They may evaluate patients and provide counseling.

Psychiatric nurses can prescribe and monitor medications.

Clinical social workers

Clinical social workers evaluate and treat mental health conditions through counseling, advocacy, and case management.

They can provide group and individual therapy and work in various settings.

They are unable to prescribe medication.

Peer supporters

Individuals who have experienced and recovered from mental health conditions, such as substance abuse, often support others who are facing similar problems.

Usually, people can access peer supporters through organizations and charities.

Peer supporters cannot prescribe medication. Their services are typically free.

When choosing a therapist, people should consider the type of therapy they require. They should also consider the type of mental health provider that would be most appropriate for their needs.

It can help to ask a family doctor, nurse practitioner, or insurance company for a list of qualified professionals. A doctor or nurse practitioner can also provide a referral.

Other options to find therapists include:

  • word-of-mouth, from family members and friends
  • workplaces, such as through the HR department or employee assistance programs
  • schools
  • colleges and universities
  • local charities
  • religious organizations

Online resources for finding therapists include:

Factors to consider

When choosing a therapist, a person can consider:

  • their qualifications
  • their experience
  • their area, or areas, of specialization
  • their approach and philosophy of therapy
  • the tools and techniques they use
  • their ability to prescribe medication, if relevant
  • costs and insurance coverage

To schedule an appointment, a person will need to call the therapist. Some therapists may be happy to answer questions over the phone, while others prefer to wait until the first appointment.

If people require an urgent appointment, they should convey this to the therapist. Some therapists keep slots available for people in crisis, while others keep a cancellation list for such cases.

The first appointment offers people a chance to get to know the therapist better and find answers to their questions.

Some questions to ask a therapist at the first appointment can include:

  1. What are your qualifications?
  2. How long have you been in practice?
  3. Have you worked with similar conditions in the past?
  4. What are your policies and fees?
  5. What tools and techniques do you use to achieve successful outcomes?
  6. How long do people typically stay in therapy with you?
  7. What approach do you take to therapy?
  8. How will I benefit from therapy with you?
  9. Can you prescribe medication?
  10. What insurance providers cover your services?
  11. Do you provide referrals to other professionals and services, if necessary?

Medicare

Getting help can be expensive. However, Medicare does cover some mental health services, including therapy.

A person can learn more about Medicare and mental health services here.

A person can learn more about Medicare and therapy here.

Options for those without insurance

If a person does not have insurance, they may find it more difficult to find help. However, there are free or low-cost options available.

A person can learn more about free mental health services that are available here.

A person can learn more about options for therapy without insurance here.

Online and phone resources, or telemental health services, are a rapidly growing area in the treatment of mental health conditions.

Research indicates that telemental health care effectively treats mental health conditions and is comparable to in-person services. It is often more affordable or even free.

Individuals can access online counseling services through phone calls, text messages, video calls, or emails. Many therapists offer online and phone support to clients.

A person can learn more about telepsychiatry online here.

Alternatively, free phone or text support is available through nonprofit organizations and charities.

Examples of beneficial telephone hotlines include:

A variety of mobile apps are available to support people with mental health conditions.

These apps can act as a treatment aid, but they should not replace professional help.

Some apps provide information and tips, while others include guided meditation and other tools for mental wellness. Other apps facilitate communication with therapists or with peers.

ADAA provide a list of mental health mobile apps.

Other examples of free apps for mental health include:

Moodfit

Moodfit allows users to:

  • track their moods
  • set daily goals
  • practice gratitude
  • use meditation and breathing exercises
  • challenge distorted thoughts

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

Breathe2Relax

According to ADAA, this app helps people to manage stress. It teaches users breathing techniques that calm the body’s stress response.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

MoodMission

MoodMission is an evidence-based app that claims it can help people to cope better with depression and anxiety.

Users can complete missions based on how they are feeling to improve their mood.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

SAM (Self Help for Anxiety Management)

SAM helps users to understand and manage anxiety and track anxious thoughts and behaviors over time.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

MindShift CBT

From Anxiety Canada, MindShift CBT uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies to help people relax, be mindful, and challenge distorted thoughts.

It can help those with anxiety, panic, phobias, and more.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

Calm Harm

Calm Harm helps teenagers to manage the urge to self-harm. To do this, it uses the basic principles of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), an evidence-based therapy.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

PTSD Coach

Designed for veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), PTSD Coach provides education on PTSD, information about professional care, and a PTSD self-assessment.

It also offers other tools for managing PTSD, such as relaxation skills and anger management techniques.

Download it from the Apple App Store.

Download it from the Google Play Store.

Certain types of video games can offer another way to support mental health.

Research indicates that the psychotherapeutic use of electronic games is a growing area that may improve:

  • attention and engagement
  • emotional expression
  • knowledge
  • motivation

Video games may also facilitate physical activity and provide therapeutic imagery to users.

Games that specifically aim to support mental health include:

Depression Quest

Depression Quest is an adventure that challenges players to make it through the day living as someone with depression.

It aims to help those with depression understand that they are not alone, and it highlights to others what it is like to live with depression.

Pry

Pry is an iOS game that highlights the struggles of veterans living with PTSD. It focuses on a soldier returning from war.

Players can discover new information about what the protagonist has experienced and what it is like to live with these memories.

SuperBetter

SuperBetter is a game that aims to build resilience and enable people to remain motivated and optimistic during challenging situations.

Some people may require inpatient and hospital care, or a stay at a residential treatment center (RTC) to help manage their condition.

For example, people experiencing an addiction may require residential care at an addiction center.

The ADAA mention that RTCs typically focus on substance use disorders. However, some centers focus on anxiety and depression.

However, the ADAA supply a list of RTCs that focus on anxiety and depression.

A person typically stays at an RTC for approximately 60 days.

Individuals who require partial hospitalization will receive treatment during the day, but they will not stay overnight.

Medicare may cover partial hospitalization.

Sometimes, a doctor may place a person on psychiatric hold at a hospital or treatment center. They will do this if they believe that the person is a danger to themselves or others.

A doctor or psychiatrist can provide information on local psychiatric hospitals and treatment facilities.

Information on treatment facilities is available at the following:

A person can learn more about substance abuse treatment and medicare here.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that offer support to LGBTQIA+ people include:

The Trevor Project

This organization provides support for young LGBTQIA+ people.

Their crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact:

A person can call The Trevor Project on 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678 to talk to a counselor via text.

They also offer an online chat service.

The LGBT National Hotline

Available to all ages, the LGBT National Hotline provides a free, anonymous, and confidential space to talk about LGBT issues and concerns.

Contact:

A person can call 888-843-4564 or email help@LGBThotline.org.

The LGBT National Youth Talkline

The LGBT National Youth Talkline offers free and confidential peer support for LGBT youth, aged 25 and under.

Contact:

A person can call ​800-246-7743 or email help@LGBThotline.org.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that offer support to those who have experienced domestic violence include:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has highly trained expert advocates who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to support those who live with domestic violence or who have questions about the health of their relationship.

Contact:

Advocates are available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages, or through live chat services.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline also provides a list of state and national organizations that offer support to survivors of domestic violence.

Loveisrespect

A National Domestic Violence Hotline project, loveisrespect aims to empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.

Contact:

People can speak to peer advocates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 1-866-331-9474 or through online chat.

They can also text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.

Gift From Within

This nonprofit organization for survivors of trauma keeps a list of online and in-person support groups for those with PTSD and their loved ones.

A person can access this list here.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that offer support to those who have experienced sexual violence include:

RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network)

RAINN connects callers with trained people from local sexual assault service providers who offer confidential support and help finding local services.

Contact:

The number is 800-656-HOPE (4673), and there is also a live chat service.

Survivors of Incest Anonymous:

This organization holds group meetings for people who have experienced incest.

It runs a 12-step program for the recovery from the effects of childhood sexual abuse.

Contact:

A person can contact Survivors of Incest Anonymous here.

They can also call 877-742-9761.

The Hope of Survivors

The Hope of Survivors offers support for survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

Contact:

Individuals can call 866-260-8958 in confidence and leave their name and details for a callback.

This nonprofit organization for survivors of trauma keeps a list of online and in-person support groups for those with PTSD and their loved ones.

Survivors of sexual violence can also find a list of resources at Gift From Within.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide culturally competent support include:

Black Mental Health Alliance

The Black Mental Health Alliance provides information and resources to support the health and well-being of Black people and other communities.

They also provide a Find a Therapist locator to connect individuals with a culturally competent mental health professional.

Contact:

People can contact the Black Mental Health Alliance using an online form.

They can also call (410)-338-2642.

Black Emotional and Mental Health (BEAM) Collective

BEAM is an organization that keeps a list of licensed Black therapists who provide telemental health services.

BEAM also offers mobile crisis rapid response teams in several areas that provide an immediate response to emergency mental health situations.

Contact:

People can use the following online form to contact BEAM.

Therapy for Black Girls

This online space encourages the mental well-being of Black females. It provides the following tool to find a local or online therapist.

Contact:

A person can contact Therapy for Black Girls here.

If a person is experiencing a crisis, they can text TRIBE to 741741.

Therapy for Latinx

Therapy for Latinx is a national mental health resource for the Latinx community. It includes a directory of therapists that identify as Latinx or POC or have worked closely with the POC community and understand their unique needs.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for children and adolescents include:

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Helpline

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this helpline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.

Assistance is available in over 170 languages.

Contact:

A person can call 1-800-422-4453.

Child Mind Institute:

Child Mind Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides information and other resources for children and families dealing with mental health conditions and learning disorders.

Contact:

A person can contact Child Mind Institute on (212)-308-3118.

Children’s Health Council:

Children’s Health Council provides support and telemental health services for children and families coping with mental health conditions and learning disorders.

Contact:

A person can find the telephone numbers here, or call 650-688-3625.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for caregivers include:

The Well Spouse Association

The Well Spouse Association offers online and in-person support groups for caregivers of partners with a chronic illness.

They also run an online forum and respite weekends, and they facilitate a peer mentor program.

A person can find a support group using this tool.

Veteran Affairs Caregiver Support

The Veteran Affairs Caregiver Support provides support, training, and more to those caring for a veteran.

Contact:

Advice is available at 855–260–3274, or individuals can search the website for their local caregiver support coordinator.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that offer support to veterans include:

The Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans Crisis Line is free, and the confidential support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to all veterans, even those not registered with the Veterans Affairs.

They also aim to support those who are members of the National Guard and Reserve, as well as family members and friends.

Contact:

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1, text 838255, or chat online.

Veterans with hearing difficulties can call 1-800-799-4889.

National Call Center for Homeless Veterans

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless can find support and information on local services.

Contact:

Call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838) or use the online chat facility.

War Vet Call Center

This confidential service gives combat veterans and their families a space to talk about their military experiences or the challenges of readjusting to civilian life. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact:

Call 1-877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).

Veterans experiencing trauma or PTSD can also find a list of resources at Gift From Within.

Employers may offer counseling services to their employees.

People can typically find out more about the workplace and employee assistance programs their company offers through their human resources department.

The following supports cover a variety of mental health conditions:

Mental Health America

Mental Health America is an organization that promotes mental well-being through the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health conditions.

The website also has a directory of local supports for those living with a mental health condition.

A person can use this tool to find out where they can get help.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI is an association of over 500 local affiliates who raise awareness and provide support and education in their communities.

The website has lists of local support groups and affiliates.

A person can find their local NAMI here.

Contact:

Individuals can contact the NAMI HelpLine on 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email info@nami.org.

Great Nonprofits

This website provides a list of mental health nonprofits and charities.

MentalHealth.gov

This website provides a list of organizations with mental health expertise.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for those experiencing anxiety and depression:

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

The ADAA offers help in the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more.

It provides information and directories of mental health professionals and support groups.

A person can use this directory to find a therapist.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

The DBSA runs in-person and online support groups for people with depression and bipolar disorder.

The website also offers other resources and information.

Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Support International supports individuals and families experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety, and distress.

Contact:

The PSI helpline, in English and Spanish, is available at 1-800-944-4773.

Other supports include text support, online support meetings, and peer mentor programs.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for those considering suicide or those who know someone who has ended their life include:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifelines offer free and confidential support for those in distress and their loved ones.

Contact:

The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-273-8255, and an online chat facility is also available.

The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors

Providing support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, the Alliance of Hope hosts an online forum, lists support groups, and offers phone and Skype consultations by trained trauma counselors.

A person can find support using this webpage.

The Friends for Survival Suicide Loss Helpline

Offering help to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, all staff and volunteers at Friends for Survival have had a personal experience of a suicide death.

Contact:

Individuals can call 916-392-0664 or the toll-free number 800-646-7322.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for those experiencing bereavement include:

Bereaved Parents USA

Bereaved Parents USA provides support for those who have lost a child, grandchild, or sibling.

Resources include information, local chapter meetings, and more.

The Compassionate Friends

The Compassionate Friends is an organization that aims to offer comfort, hope, and support for families who have lost a child, sibling, or grandchild. Resources include online communities and local chapter supports.

Contact:

A person can use this online form to contact The Compassionate Friends.

Star Legacy Foundation

Star Legacy Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to increase awareness and support regarding pregnancy loss and neonatal death.

They offer support lines and support groups for those who have experienced a perinatal loss and those experiencing a pregnancy after a pregnancy loss.

A person can learn more about the support the Star Legacy Foundation provides here.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) runs in-person and online support groups for people with depression and bipolar disorder. The website also offers other resources and information.

A person can find support using this tool.

The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) supports those with schizophrenia, psychosis, and related disorders.

It runs call-in peer support groups for diagnosed individuals and other support groups for their families.

Contact:

A person can call SARDAA on 240-423-9432, or use the toll-free number on 800-493-2094.

The International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation is an organization that provides information and other resources for those with OCD and related disorders.

It also maintains a directory of therapists, clinics, support groups, and other local organizations for those with OCD and their families.

A person can find help here.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for those with eating disorders:

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

NEDA provides information and maintains a directory of support groups for people with eating disorders.

Contact:

It also offers a helpline and text support at 800-931-2237 and an online chat service.

Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

Providing support to those who experience compulsive eating and food behaviors, the OA website features information and other helpful resources.

It also lists in-person, telephone, and online meetings for those with compulsive eating behaviors.

A person can find meetings here.

Some nonprofit organizations and charities that can provide help for those with neurodevelopmental conditions:

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

Members of ADDA can avail of information, support group services, and a professional directory.

Contact:

A person can contact them using this online form.

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

CHADD provides information and a directory of relevant professionals and ADHD centers.

Autism Society National Helpline

The Autism Society provide information on services and support across the country.

Contact:

To speak to a trained information and referral specialist, call 800-3-AUTISM (800-328-8476).

Autism Awareness Center

The Autism Awareness Center provides links to resources and organizations that support those in the United States with autism and related disorders.

Some organizations can provide support and help for those with substance use disorder (SUD), alcohol use disorder (AUD), or an addiction to gambling or sex.

AUD:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: The AA holds meetings throughout the country for those with alcohol use disorder. A person can find their local AA contact information here.
  • Al-Anon: Al-Anon provides nationwide meetings for those who are affected by a loved one’s alcohol abuse. A person can find meetings here.

SUD:

  • SAMHSA: Services include general information on substance abuse and a directory of local treatment services. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA): The NA holds meetings throughout the country for those with a history of drug addiction. A person can find meetings here.
  • Nar-Anon: Nar-Anon provides nationwide meetings for those who are affected by a loved one’s drug use. A person can learn more here.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous: This organization holds meetings for individuals who are experiencing AUD or SUD and also have emotional or psychiatric conditions. A person can find their local contact information here.

Gambling

Gamblers Anonymous provide support for those with gambling addiction, as well as their family members and friends.

A person can use this directory to find hotlines that are available to them. Gamblers Anonymous also provide this tool to find local meetings.

Sex

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA): The SAA runs meetings for individuals with sexual addiction or dependency. A person can find local meetings here.
  • S-Anon: S-Anon provides a 12-step program to help family members and friends of sex addicts. A person can find meetings here.

A wide variety of mental health resources are available to those experiencing emotional difficulties or the symptoms of a mental health condition.

While it is beneficial to recovery to seek prompt treatment, it is never too late to reach out for help.

With treatment, people can learn to manage their symptoms and begin to feel better.

Individuals who are unsure of whom to contact about their symptoms should speak to a doctor, who can point them in the right direction.

Read the article in Spanish.