Providers and Resources

While it may seem straightforward, the aspects involved in diagnosing a psychological condition require an understanding of various subtleties and nuances, both in terms of the individual and the DSM; if one does not have experience related to mental health, one should avoid attempting to make a diagnosis of themself or others. Mental health professionals, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, spend many years studying and training in relation to this area and, very importantly, personal perspective can influence one's abilities to notice certain aspects, or accept a diagnosis. 

A key aspect to take into account, however, are the words "work with;" while a provider may have credentials and experiences in the field of mental health, an individual has first-hand experience and understanding of their symptoms and life experiences that no-one else can ever have.  In addition, it is healthy, important, and ideal to approach working with one's provider(s) as a team interacting together to address the condition(s) - not simply one individual being told to do something by others.  

Should one feel they are not being properly understood, believed, respected, or that the provider is not qualified (in general, or because of their area of experience), one should try to seek a provider they feel more comfortable with (trust being essential to a patient-provider arrangement).

Something which concerns many regarding mental health care is privacy, as sensitive personal information that can notably affect one's life is involved.  In the United States, personal information is required to be kept confidential under the Health Insurance Portability and Acountability Act (HIPPA); in general, personal information about an individual cannot be disclosed without one's consent. 

For assistance on locating psychological health support, please see Kalamazoo Hope's Directory and Booklets page.

For screen readers: an image of an male African American soldier and male Caucasian  doctor talking