IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING CRISISIf you or someone you know is in crisis and expressing thoughts of harming themselves or others, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.
Where to Start
If you’re new to the world of mental health services, you may have many questions. The information on this page can be useful if you are starting your recovery journey. Even if you are not ready to start treatment, it can be helpful to have these questions answered ahead of time so you or your loved one can more easily access treatment when it matters most.
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Going through times of great stress, sadness and grief are normal parts of life, and usually temporary. However, when symptoms linger for a long period of time or interfere with day-to-day functioning, it is time to seek help. Signs may include:
Having a hard time concentrating, remembering things or struggling to think clearly.
Changes in diet, such as loss of appetite or overeating.
Difficulty keeping up with work or school tasks.
Feeling overly worried.
Feeling sad, empty, worthless or out of hope.
Being irritable or restless.
Having no energy.
Crying spells or bursts of anger.
Excessive smoking or use of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications.
Feeling overwhelmed by their senses or experiencing sensitivity to light or touch.
Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
Isolating themselves from others. Avoiding friends or family.
Changes in sleep, too much or too little, and or schedule changes (staying up all night and sleeping during the day).
Hearing noises or voices that are not heard by others. Seeing things that others do not see.
Consider taking a Mental Health First Aidtraining to increase your knowledge of mental health and gain skills to help someone who may be developing a mental illness or substance use issue. FREE trainings are available in Shasta County. Contact us if you are interested.
Going through times of great stress, sadness and grief are normal parts of life, and usually temporary. However, when symptoms linger for a long period of time or interfere with day-to-day functioning, it is time to seek help.
A person does not have to be experiencing a crisis to start working on their mental wellness. In fact, our overall health can be improved when a mental illness is diagnosed early on.
IMPORTANT: If you or someone you love is in crisis and in immediate danger of harming themselves or others, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
*If you are already in treatment, do not stop without talking to your doctor and/or therapist.
It is recommended to check in with your health insurance company to see what types of mental health services are covered and where to access treatment. This can be done whether or not you are actively needing or seeking treatment. Having this information ahead of time can help you or your loved one more easily access treatment when it matters the most.
Private Insurance – Start by calling the number on the back of their insurance card or by visiting the company’s website.
Partnership/Medi-Cal – Call 1 (800) 863-4155 or contact Shasta County Mental Health at (530) 225-5252.
No Insurance – Visit www.CoveredShasta.com or call the Shasta County Customer Service Center at 1 (877) 652-0731.
Veterans– Contact the Redding VA Mental Health Clinic at (530) 226-7675. If you have not established eligibility with VA, contact the Shasta County Veterans Service Office at (530) 225-5616.
If you are still unsure where to start, and you live in Shasta County, contact:
Your primary care provider.
Shasta County Mental Health 24-hour Hotline – (530) 225-5252 or walk in to 2640 Breslauer Way, Redding, anytime between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hill Country CARE Center – (530) 691-4446 or walk in to 1401 Gold Street, Redding, anytime between 12 – 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Other mental health and substance use treatment resources can be found at211norcal.org or by calling 2-1-1.
What kinds of professionals provide care?
Partnerships to Get Well and Stay Well
There are a variety of types of professionals, with different levels of experience and licensure, that can provide care for mental health and/or substance use recovery. The following is a list of providers you might work with on your journey.
The types or professionals listed may provide treatment in-person or by telehealth.
Assessment and Diagnosis
Getting a diagnosis is the first step toward recovery. Licensed professionals that can provide assessment and diagnosis are Psychiatrists, Primary Care Doctors, Psychologists, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). These types of professionals have a high level of training and experience in treating mental health challenges.
Medication Prescription and Monitoring
Medication can be an important tool in recovery. Providers that can prescribe and monitor medication are Primary Care Doctors and Psychiatrists. You might also work with a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant who is under the supervision of a doctor or psychiatrist.
Medication is most effective when it is used in conjunction with counseling.
Individual or Group Counseling
Therapists help people learn strategies for coping with thoughts, feelings and behaviors to manage their symptoms. Professionals who can provide individual or group counseling are Psychologists, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). Other counseling providers may work under a licensed professional, such as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (LMFTI).
In some cases, a person may need additional resources to support them through recovery. Case managers can help with discharge planning if the person has been hospitalized and referrals to other social service programs that enhance the person’s overall wellbeing (housing, job search, medical needs, etc.). Professionals that typically do case management have a Masters in Social Work (MSW) or are Associate Clinical Social Workers (ACSW) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Interns (LMFTI).
Peers are people who have personal experience or are a family member of someone living with mental health and/or substance use challenges. They walk alongside people who are early in recovery and help them set goals that are unique to their strengths. Peer Support Specialists undergo training that helps guide their work. California is currently working on a state-wide certification program for peers.
It is important to remember that your care providers work for you. When setting up your first appointment, or switching providers, it is OK to interview them and find out more about their treatment approach.
Some questions you might want to ask your primary care doctor, psychiatrist or therapist are:
First and Foremost
Are you currently taking new clients/patients?
What is the wait time to get scheduled?
What are your credentials?
Are you licensed in this state?
What did you get your degree in?
Do you have any specialized certifications or training?
Insurance and Payments
What insurances do you take?
Do you communicate with the insurance company or do I?
What is my copay?
What is my contribution (if you’re planning on going to a clinic that offers low or no cost counseling)?
Is it difficult to get an appointment?
What if I need to cancel? Is there a fee?
Do you accept urgent or walk-in appointments?
Do I need to schedule an appointment with you for every purpose or can you take some requests (i.e. refills, adjustments, referrals) over the phone?
After Hours and Emergencies
Can I contact you outside of business hours? If yes, is there a charge?
Is there a way to contact you in an emergency? If so, will I be speaking with you directly or do you have an answering service?
At the Appointment
What is a typical appointment like?
How long is an appointment?
What personal details will you be asking me about?
Will I be able to ask questions?
Do I have to talk about things I don’t want or am not ready to talk about?
Treatment Risks and Benefits
What are the risks and benefits of the type of treatment you are recommending?
What other options are available and what are the pros and cons?
For some, having a diagnosis can be a big relief. They finally have a starting point for working through what they have been thinking and feeling.
For others, it can be hard news to take. They may wonder why this happened to them and be worried about the future. They may be dealing with self-stigma and are not sure what to think.
The good news is that treatments are effective and people do recover. Many people who manage mental health or substance use challenges go on to lead full lives and make important contributions to the community.
A few things can help:
Be hopeful. If you need help doing this, read the stories of Brave Faces Advocates or seek out a Peer Support Specialist. You might find someone who has gone through the same thing.
Be active in your community. Contact one of Shasta County’s wellness centers on the Community Support page.
When the word therapy comes up, some imagine that it is just talking about feelings and childhood issues. While these topics might come up as something you may want to work through, there is much more to therapy.
Therapy is a time to:
Find your own solutions for what you are going through.
Learn strategies for dealing with or challenging thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Openly discuss your treatment goals with your therapist.
Stay open minded. Challenge yourself to try new ways of thinking and behaving.
Practice what you learn.
If you think you are not making progress, tell your therapist.
For help finding a therapist, use the resource information under ‘Who do I contact to start treatment?‘ on this page. Additional help can be found on the National Institute of Mental Health’s ‘Psychotherapies‘ page under ‘Finding a Therapist.’
One Brave Face, Cherish Padro, said, “My recovery doesn’t look like a straight line. It’s up and down. It’s a fluid process.”
There is no set timeline for recovery. When starting out, it can take time to adjust to things like medication and find a therapist you click with. It could be a few weeks, months, or longer to start feeling better. Some people will have to learn how to manage their mental health challenges for life.
The important thing to remember is that people do recover and there is hope. Staying active in your treatment and connected to others can make a difference.
Remember, you are not alone. Read the stories of Brave Faces Advocates or seek out a Peer Support Specialist. You might find someone who has gone through the same thing, that can keep you company as you heal.
Sponsored by: Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency in conjunction with our many community partners and advisory boards. Funding for this project is provided through the Mental Health Services Act. | Shasta County HHSA | Legal Disclaimer
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