Where do I obtain the right information for my mental health issues?

Oct 18, 2020

Where do I obtain the right information for my mental health issues?

For those who have mental health issues, it really hits you hard. This is when you really feel you need to seek help. Finding the right information is detrimental to our recovery; it is like getting some direction in the dark. It helps us work out what we need to do to be OK.

You may wonder where to look, or which credible resources are ‘the right ones’ so that you can have at least a clearer picture about the issues you confront with. Usually people just brainstorm about the different support options they know of. Sometimes they get word-of-mouth recommendations, or closed family/peer circle which may, or may not completely understand their situations. Or they simply browse the internet for new ideas. Or in some more urgent situations, they get referrals from the own GP/doctor.

In this article I share some useful online resources which are also acknowledged by many qualified practitioners as credible information in their practice. Most of the recommendations are evidence baesd, meaning such recommendations can provide you with a valid and objective picture about the disorders/issues and the corresponding treatment options. ‘Evidence based treatment approach’ consists of three elements: best research evidence, clinical expertise and patient values and preferences.

This image gives a list of evidence based treatments, which means these therapeutic approaches are proven to be clinically effective by research and clinical expertise.

Scientific studies as well as national healthcare guidelines provide comprehensive information about different mental health issues and what psychological support effectively improves a person’s functioning. In the UK, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines are one of the common guidelines of treatment options (such as self-help, psychological therapy, medication, carer support, etc.) for many practitioners in the UK. Other reference points include NHS England recommendations, National Institute of Mental Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists and Mind, etc.

Take obsessive-compulsive disorder as an example. Recommended treatment options for Obsessive-compulsive disorder include:

(This list will be continuously updated)

If you want to get a brief picture or somewhere to start, Mind provides easy-to-read information about the issue. This includes what the mental health issue is; why people develop the issue, what are the common treatment options, and what can be done as self-help.

If you want to further know what different professionals use as useful reference to help them decide which treatment approach(es) to implement:

Other credible resources are WebMD which is a commonly used website among medical doctors.

With good information, it is strongly recommended that you look for a qualified practitioner for an assessment or consultation. This will provide a much more in-depth understanding regarding which treatment works the best for you. One size does not fit all. A professional dialogue will help you gain insight on questions or even some of the hidden clues or unaware situations which can be crucial to your recovery.

This article mostly provides recommendations in the UK context. There are different national guidelines in other countries and the different respective systems. While I can ensure the validity of the above resources, I also recommend you to also look for recommendations suggested by professionals or research from the national region. However, if you have an enquiry, feel free to make an enquiry by sending me a message or email.

Other useful websites and UK helplines:

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a 24/7 free listening service, on 116 123 (UK and ROI).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line, on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.

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