Students’ unmet mental health needs can be a significant obstacle to their academic, career, and social/emotional development. Good mental health is critical to children’s success in school and in life. As a parent, finding the right help for your child can be a scary and unfamiliar process. However, you are not alone! Parents are encouraged to work with their child's school counselor to help find the appropriate support their child needs to overcome mental health barriers. Counselors can collaborate with the family and community agencies to link students with support both in and outside of the school environment.
If you or someone you know has a mental health problem, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member. Below are some helpful resources.
Get Immediate Help
If you are in crisis and need immediate support or intervention, call or go the website of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
Find a Healthcare Provider or Treatment
For general information on mental health and to locate treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline at 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727). SAMSHA also has a Behavioral Health Treatment Locator on its website that can be searched by location.
National agencies and advocacy and professional organizations have information on finding a mental health professional and sometimes practitioner locators on their websites. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- LearnPsychology (Student Stress and Anxiety Guide)
Some federal agencies offer resources for identifying practitioners and assistance in finding low-cost health services. These include the following:
- Health Resources & Services Administration: The Health Resources & Services Administration works to improve access to healthcare. The website has information on finding affordable healthcare, including health centers that offer care on a sliding scale.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has information on the website about benefits and eligibility for these programs and how to enroll.
- The National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website also has lists of directories and organizations that can help in identifying a health practitioner.
- Practitioner lists in healthcare plans can provide mental health professionals that participate with your plan.
Help for Service Members and Their Families
Current and former service members may face different mental health issues than the general public. For resources for both service members and veterans, visit Mental Health.gov.
Learn More About Mental Disorders
NIMH offers health information and free easy-to-read publications on various mental disorders on its website in the Health & Education section. The website is mobile and print-friendly. Printed publications can be ordered for free, and free eBooks are available for select publications. Many publications are also available in Spanish. To obtain free publications, order online (haga su pedido por el Internet en español) or call 1-866-615-6464 (TTY: 1-866-415-8051).