Mental health is an important part of overall wellbeing, and it's essential to have access to the right professionals to help you manage your mental health. There are three main types of mental health professionals: counselors, doctors, and therapists. Each of these professionals has their own unique training and qualifications that can help you manage your mental health. Counselors are masters-level health professionals who are trained to assess a person's mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They can analyze the biological reasons for mental health problems and psychological factors, and they can talk to you at length about what you're experiencing to make a diagnosis and follow a treatment plan.
Counselors can also provide general medical care. Doctors, or psychiatrists, specialize in diagnosing, treating, and helping prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They use psychiatric medicine, physical exams, and laboratory tests to make a diagnosis. After graduating from medical school with an MD (or DO) degree, future psychiatrists typically specialize in psychiatry with a 4-year residency. Psychiatrists can also provide general medical care. Therapists are also known as psychotherapists.
They specialize in providing talk therapy without medication. During their specialized training, therapists study the functions of the brain and the complex relationship between the body and the brain. They are trained to distinguish between physical and psychological causes of mental and physical distress. Sometimes conditions may require medication from a psychiatrist or family doctor. For example, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are difficult to manage with psychotherapy alone.
A psychiatrist or family doctor can prescribe medications for mental health conditions. If you or someone you support is accessing treatment for a mental health condition, you may encounter a variety of mental health professionals who will play a role in the treatment. Your local doctor (general practitioner or general practitioner) can help determine if you have a mental health condition. You can also see an eligible occupational therapist through the Better Access program, funded by Medicare. Peer workers are trained mental health professionals who have their own personal experience of mental health and recovery issues. Common areas of personal recovery include developing social connection, finding hope, addressing the identity impacts of mental health issues, making sense of mental health experiences, finding meaning in life, and developing a sense of empowerment. Mental health professionals can help you understand and recover from mental health conditions.
It's important to find the right professional for your needs so that you can get the best possible care. If you're looking for help managing your mental health, consider talking to a counselor, doctor, or therapist.