Figuring out how to access mental health services for your child can sometimes be a confusing process.
If you are concerned that your child may have a mental health problem talk your concerns over with your child’s pediatrician or family doctor. If your child does not have a pediatrician or family physician, contact your local community mental health agency, your child’s school or a local health care clinic and ask for a mental health assessment.
When you attend the appointment be prepared to share your concerns including any behaviors, situations, symptoms or emotional reactions that concern you. You will often want to share how long and how often these types of things have been happening and anything that seems to make your child feel worse or better.
You can find more detailed information about how to prepare for talking with someone about your concerns by clicking on the links on the right to learn more about what to ask or what to share when trying to access mental health services.
After your child has been evaluated, your doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional will explain your child’s condition to you and discuss your child’s strengths and needs. They should also tell you the types of treatment, services or supports available to your child.
How you go about accessing treatment will depend on variety of things including your child’s individual needs, the type of insurance your family has (public and/or private) and the severity of your child’s condition.
Locations you may go to access services include your local community mental health, a private therapist’s office, your child’s school or other child and family service organizations.
The type of treatment your child receives will depend on your child’s individual needs. To learn more about mental health treatment and supports here.
How your child’s mental health services will be paid for will depend on your child’s needs and your family’s health care coverage. If your family does not have insurance coverage or if your insurance does not cover the type or level service your child needs, your child may qualify for additional services depending on your family’s financial situation and eligibility for public funded programs. If you do not qualify (based on your income) for publicly funded health care programs, your child may still be eligible for additional services through community mental health if their condition is severe enough to require intensive home and community based services. To learn more about health care coverage and publicly funded programs click here.
For more information about accessing public mental health services click here.
For more information about using private insurance to access mental health services click here.
If you are still unable to find the information you need after exploring the website or if you have difficulty accessing the help your child needs, please feel free to call the ACMH office and speak with a Family Resource Specialist today.