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Experiencing mental health issues?

The first thing to do if you feel you are suffering from a mental health problem is to try to remain calm and not panic. The term mental health is often a cause for concern in a lot of people but this does not have to be the case. It is important to remember that mental health research has advanced a long way and there is now a vast amount of support available for you.

Contact a Medical Professional

If you do feel you are suffering from a disorder then you should book an appointment with your medical practitioner as soon as possible to discuss your thoughts and concerns. If possible you may wish to book a double session to allow you sufficient time to talk through all your concerns. The medical practitioner is likely to then be able to refer you on to various psychological and psychiatric services that will be more specialised in the areas you might require treatment for. Your medical practitioner may also be able to provide you with some medication to help relieve the symptoms you are currently experiencing. If you have the resources at your disposal you may choose to bypass seeing your medical practitioner and move to contacting a Psychologist or Psychiatrist directly for an appointment. It is important to realise there are differences between Psychologists and Psychiatrists and a good treatment plan is likely to include input from both of these parties. An important difference is a Psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication, whilst a Psychologist will be able to provide psychological therapies.

What to do whilst waiting for an appointment

It is more than likely that there will be a short waiting time between you feeling like you may have a mental health problem and you being able to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. During this time it will be important to try to manage your symptoms as best you can using tips from our Everyday Living Tips page. If you do notice a decline in your wellbeing then you should immediately return to your medical practitioner to attempt to speed up your referral process. During this waiting time it will also be useful for you to attempt some self-help techniques and to research your condition. Over research can be a symptom of some conditions so it is important to be mindful of this. There are a number of self-help books available and with less severe symptoms it may be that you are able to reduce your symptoms and return to your normal life without the need for medication or therapy. Even if this is not the case, self-help books will likely improve some of your symptoms and will provide good knowledge and grounding for your therapy. The internet can be a great resource but may also have a lot of inaccurate information. It is therefore important to limit your research to established institution websites and established mental health charity websites.

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