How to Seek Out Mental Health Treatment
If you or your partner continue to have difficulty coping in the aftermath of your loss, or are finding it hard to get through day-to-day challenges, it may be helpful for you to contact a mental health professional for additional support. Each person grieves in his/her own way, and sometimes we grieve very differently from those closest to us. This can result in significant conflict, anger and distress that can damage long-term relationships. Be patient. Talk openly, be sensitive to what others are feeling, and know that they are hurting, too.
If you are looking for support from a therapist, there are different ways to seek treatment. If you have insurance, you can call the phone number on the back of your insurance card and talk with an agent about what in-network mental/behavioral health services are available. Be ready to discuss some of what you have been through so that they can best match you to the appropriate services.
You can also ask your obstetric (OB) provider or hospital social worker for resources in your area. If you don’t have insurance, ask someone in your doctor’s office if there is an agency in your area that can help you. If talking one-on-one doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, you can look for an online group or support group in your area (find additional loss resources).
Postpartum Support International is an organization dedicated to helping men, women and couples coping with pregnancy-related issues, including pregnancy loss. They have a website, online and phone support groups for men and women, and state coordinators who can provide you with recommendations for helpful resources in your area (visit their United States Support & Resources page and click on the map to find the contact information for your state coordinator).
Another online resource that can help you identify a therapist is psychologytoday.com. You can search their site by ZIP code to find a list of providers in your area; search for in-network providers; find therapists who treat children, adults or couples; and narrow down results based on specialization of the specific areas of concern (e.g., grief, loss, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc.).
Things to consider when looking for a therapist
- Would you be most comfortable with someone who would meet with you individually or as a couple?
- Would you want someone who has a specialty in grief or perinatal loss?
- Would you prefer to meet with a male or female therapist?
- How frequently can they meet with you, and how long is the new patient waiting list?
- Does the therapist have morning, evening or weekend sessions available to accommodate your schedule?
It is recommended that you schedule appointments with two to three different therapists to determine which one is the best “fit” for you. It is important that you establish a comfortable rapport with your therapist because they will be supporting you during a vulnerable and difficult time. If you find after a few visits that it is not a good match, you can consider changing to a different therapist that might provide better support to you or your family.