Seeking Mental Health Care in New York City

New York City is an exciting and wonderful place, but it can also be daunting. That’s especially true for those who are suffering from mental health conditions (and that’s 1 in 5 New Yorkers). Some of the same things that make New York City so uniquely impressive, including the competitive business world and the city’s weird and wild daily surprises, make those with anxiety, depression, and other common mental illnesses feel stressed and lost. In fact, you don’t need to be suffering from any mental health condition at all to feel that New York City can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. This is a fast-paced place with numerous sources of stress, confusion, and even fear.

It’s important to get proper mental health care no matter where you are, but it’s particularly important when you’re living in a place like New York City. Fortunately, New York City is home to some of the best and brightest professionals in the mental health care field. Unfortunately, connecting with the right ones can feel overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know about mental health care in New York City.

Talk to the people who can help you

Finding a therapist may be as easy as seeing an advertisement or getting a recommendation from a friend, then contacting the therapist in question. But it doesn’t always work this way, in part because of our health care system. Most people seeking therapy probably don’t want to pay full price for their sessions; as helpful as therapists can be, they can also be quite expensive. In these cases, it’s important to make sure that your therapy is going to be covered by your insurance as much as is possible.

To ensure that you’re getting covered by your insurance, you’ll need to look over your insurance documentation or, better yet, contact your insurance provider and make sure that you know all of the details before you make your first appointment. In some cases, you may find that you need a referral to get your visit covered. If that’s the case, you’ll want to stop at the office of your primary care physician first to get the proper referral to an in-network mental health care provider.

Choosing the right therapist

You’ll find that therapists in Manhattan are among the best in the business, but that doesn’t mean that you should pick yours blindly or stick with one no matter what. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your therapist; without trust and a healthy dialogue, you won’t get far in therapy.

Use your first session with a therapist, in part, to discuss how therapy will move forward. What kind of therapy are you interested in, and what sort does your therapist specialize in? What schools of thought does your therapist subscribe to, and how might that affect your therapy sessions? Are you happy and comfortable with your choice?

You may also want to call potential therapist before your sessions start. Talk to them and see if it’s a good fit. Just because a therapist is accepting new clients doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to be among them.

Stress and the city

Therapy isn’t a cure-all, but it can do wonders for people living in big, stressful cities like New York City (it can do wonders for people all over the place, in fact). Therapy can be a valuable part of your mental health care, and it can help you improve in ways as diverse as productivity and romantic partnership. With proper professional care and self-care, you can be more of the person — and the New Yorker — that you want to be.