Mental Health Services

Whether you've been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or you are just beginning to seek answers, our mental health professionals can help you build a healthier life for yourself.
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Outpatient Mental Health Services

Hazelden Betty Ford offers outpatient mental health services for anyone struggling to cope with life's challenges. Whether you've been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or you are just beginning to seek answers, our mental health professionals can help you build a healthier life for yourself. Hazelden Betty Ford's patient-centered approach is evidence-based and individualized to meet your unique clinical needs.

Mental health assessments and counseling can be a helpful place to start when you're struggling in life but don't really know what you need. Outpatient counseling and therapy are also beneficial following inpatient addiction or mental health treatment to support and further your healing journey. Mental health care is also important if you are a family member or loved one of someone struggling with addiction and you don't know how to help them or yourself. Whatever your situation, start with a mental health assessment.

Some of the most common mental health issues our licensed and credentialed mental health providers treat include:

  • Stress
  • Trouble coping or unhealthy coping strategies
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Family and relationship problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Excessive worry
  • Trouble at work
  • Trouble communicating with others
  • Experiences of sadness and anger
  • Feeling isolated, lonely
  • Feeling grief or loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trauma or difficult life events
  • Poor self-esteem or not feeling good about oneself
  • Building resiliency

Our outpatient mental health services include:

  • Comprehensive behavioral assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication coordination
  • Referrals to resources for education and support
  • Family and couples therapy
  • Adolescent screening and early intervention services

Online Mental Health Services

Virtual mental health appointments work the same way as our in-person mental health treatment but from the comfort of your home. Telehealth sessions with our mental health experts are an ideal option if you're not located near one of our facilities or you have mobility/accessibility challenges. Interactive audio and video technology make your virtual visit as therapeutically beneficial as an in-person session, without the inconvenience of traveling to a clinic. Our licensed and credentialed mental health professionals will individualize your care and use the latest evidence-based treatment approaches to help get you feeling like your best self.

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Co-Occurring Mental Health Services

At Hazelden Betty Ford, inpatient addiction treatment is integrated with mental health care because—more often than not—addiction comes with complicating factors such as depression, anxiety or trauma, also known as co-occurring disorders. With such complex conditions, the most effective care integrates treatment for addiction and mental health so that all issues are addressed at the same time. Our services are provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and other mental health professionals. Services may include individual or group therapy, family therapy, diagnostic assessments or medication management. The type and frequency of care is determined by your initial and ongoing assessments.

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Do I Have a Mental Health Disorder?

Feeling low. On edge. In a funk. Out of sorts. Overwhelmed. We have endless ways of describing what it’s like when we’re struggling to cope. No matter where we are in life, there are always challenges for us to face. And some days are easier than others.

So how can you tell if you are experiencing a rough patch in life or if something more serious is going on with your mental health?

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about mental illness—answers that can help you determine if it might be time for you to seek professional care and support. 

What is a mental health disorder?

The term “mental health disorder” is a general name for a wide range of conditions related to mental functioning that affect your thinking, emotion regulation or behavior. Mental health conditions vary in severity from mild levels of impairment to debilitating effects. The severity of a mental disorder is typically determined by how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms and how much the condition is interfering with or limiting your major life activities.

Mental disorders are more prevalent than most people realize, in part because stigma deters many from talking about or seeking the help they need and deserve. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. The most common types of mental illnesses are:

How can I tell if I’m experiencing temporary or chronic mental health challenges?

Mental health challenges could be considered situational if you can attribute your emotional or behavioral symptoms (anxiety, hopelessness, crying spells, loss of interest) to an identifiable stressor. This type of response is what’s known as an “adjustment disorder”—an emotional or behavioral reaction to an extremely stressful or disruptive event, situation or life change (death of a loved one, major illness, job loss, divorce). With an adjustment disorder, your response to the stressor could be immediate or it could be delayed for weeks or even months. If symptoms persist for more than six months after the stressor or its consequences have subsided, the mental health condition is considered to be more than situational.

Chronic mental health disorders, on the other hand, involve psychiatric symptoms that consistently and seriously impair your daily functioning. 

When should I seek help from a mental health professional?

Given the wide range of mental health disorders—each with its own symptoms and effects—there isn’t really a single checklist of indicators. A general rule of thumb is to seek professional help if you’re just not feeling like yourself. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I uninterested in things I used to enjoy?
  • Have I been getting overly emotional or overly agitated?
  • Am I relying on alcohol or other drugs to feel better?
  • Do I have difficulty staying focused or concentrating?
  • Have I been avoiding social interaction?
  • Have my eating patterns or sleeping patterns changed?
  • Do I have suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming others?

These questions are just a starting place and not a substitute for a mental health assessment with a licensed mental health professional. In addition to diagnosing your condition, a mental health professional will determine whether counseling, medications or other kinds of care and support are most appropriate for you.

Another note: With so much information on the Internet, it’s tempting to self-diagnose a mental health condition. We can see a list of signs and symptoms and think we know what we have. Or a loved one might be offering their diagnosis. Again, a mental health evaluation by a licensed provider is the most helpful place to start.

What kind of mental health professional should I reach out to?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who evaluate the need for prescription medications and monitor the use of those medications to ensure they are achieving the intended outcome. (In some states, psychologists are authorized to prescribe medications). Psychologists assess, diagnose and treat mental health conditions and facilitate psychotherapy. Other mental health professionals who provide individual or group counseling include marriage and family therapists, licensed social workers and addiction counselors.

What happens in the first mental health appointment?

A psychological or psychiatric evaluation is performed by a licensed mental health professional to identify the psychological factors that are affecting your ability to function. This evaluation typically includes:

  • Taking a mental health history
  • Identifying any medical conditions
  • Learning about your family history and social history
  • Identifying any exposure to trauma
  • Discussing your substance use

How long does it take to get better?

The length of time and intensity of psychological treatment will depend on your specific mental health diagnosis. It’s important to understand that psychotherapy and medications for mental illness don’t work overnight—but they do work. Think of recovery as more of a process than an event in terms of feeling some relief and learning healthy new ways of coping with your mental health challenges and managing your symptoms.

Will I need to take medications to get better?

Not necessarily. Medications like antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics are often used in combination with psychotherapy to treat mental illness, but your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis and your specific needs.

What kind of therapies should I try to find?

To find the most-effective therapy, seek out licensed mental health professionals who specialize in treating your condition (depression, anxiety, trauma) and who use evidence-based treatment practices. Evidence-based treatment means the therapeutic approach is backed by scientific evidence and tailored by the clinician to meet your specific needs. Three of the most common evidence-based mental health treatment approaches are acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

What does a dual diagnosis mean in the behavioral health field?

A dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders, refers to the combination of mental disorders and substance use disorders (alcohol or other drug addiction). It is important to recognize that both the substance use disorder and the mental health disorder need to be treated. If only one of the disorders is treated, the other condition can worsen. With such complex conditions, the most effective treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis and involves an integrated approach to care.

Are psychological disorders genetic?

Genetics are often part of the picture but not the whole picture. Research points to a number of genetic, environmental and physiological risk factors linked to the development of mental illness. Research also suggests that some psychological disorders are more common in people whose blood relatives have a psychological disorder. 

What can I do on my own to help my mental health?

What a great question! Even the smallest changes in your daily habits and practices can have a powerfully positive impact on your mental health. Here are three simple things you can do to support your mental health:

  • Practice gratitude - Start your day or end your day by writing down something/someone/some experience you’re thankful for
  • Move around - Even a little physical activity is good for your outlook and emotional health
  • Connect with people - Talk to a friend or even a friendly face at the grocery store—social interaction is a mood booster

Be patient with yourself as you adjust your daily routine and try new practices. It takes at least six months to change a behavior.