Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is joining in to spread the word that mental health is a subject everyone should care about. Taking care of your mental health, or the mental health of a loved one, is an important step toward overall wellness. However, it can be confusing, or even overwhelming, to decide which mental health professional to visit in taking the first step toward mental health care.

This month, we are taking a look at the different kinds of mental health practitioners, explaining the differences, and highlighting the ways in which they treat patients facing mental health concerns.


PPA-MENTAL-healthMeet Your Mental Health With PPA: PsychiatristI’m a doctor focusing on the diagnosisand treatment of mental andemotional illnesses. I can prescribemedicines, but I don’t necessarilyprovide therapy or counsel patients.Clinical PsychologistI hold a PhD in psychology and candiagnose mental illness and providetherapy for individual and groups.Unlike my psychiatrist colleague,I can’t prescribe medicine.Marital and Family TherapistLike other professional counselors,I can diagnose mental illness andprovide counseling, but I havespecial education and training inmarital and family therapy. I holda masters degree.Clinical Social WorkerI have an MA in social work andI can make diagnoses and providecounseling. I also manage cases andadvocate for people with mentalillness. You can usually find me in ahospital setting.Licensed Professional CounselorI draw on my MA in counseling todiagnose mental illness and providecounseling for both individuals andgroups. Some of my counselorcolleagues have masters degreesin psychology or a related field.Psychiatric or Mental Health NurseFirst I was an R.N. but I gained hundreds ofhours of clinical experience in the diagnosisand treatment of mental illness. Now I canprescribe medicine like my psychiatristcolleague.