Mental health resources when you can’t find a therapist

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How do you take care of your mental health when you can’t find a therapist? We turned to 300 mental health providers to help answer that question.

We’ve learned that long waits for therapy are real, and many providers don’t even maintain waiting lists because they don’t want to give patients false hope. “Our doors are getting slammed,” says Kayla Johnson, a licensed psychologist in Tomball, Texas. “I know the need is so great. I wish I could help them, but I can.”

Shawn Dobson, a licensed professional counselor in Smyrna, Ga. created a 12-step support group, TraumAnon, which she broadcasts weekly live on TikTok and Facebook.

Steve Schlozman, a child psychiatrist at Dartmouth Health Children’s in Lebanon, NH, said he reached out to clergy, school counselors and even football coaches to act as de facto therapists for children and adolescents suffering from depression.

Because therapists are on the front lines of the mental health crisis, we asked them for their best advice on getting mental health help when you can’t find a therapist. Reporter Lindsey Bever has brought all this advice together in a handy guide. It turns out that there are a number of resources—including mental health programs, group therapy, support groups, and even your friends—that can offer support while you wait to work with a therapist.

“The act of going to therapy is not therapy. Therapy is the application of the skills—thinking different ways to understand yourself between sessions,” says Lakeasha Sullivan, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Atlanta who has written for The Washington Post. “The real work happens between sessions, and people can engage in that real work before they consult with a professional.”

Learn more by reading the full article, “10 Ways to Get Mental Health Help During a Therapist Shortage.”

In the meantime, we’ve compiled our own list of additional stories to help answer your mental health questions. You can find all of our reporting on mental health issues in the “mind” section of The Washington Post.

How to know if it’s depression or just ‘normal’ sadness

Perfectionists: Lowering your standards can improve your mental health

4 emotional workouts to help you feel empowered and promote resilience

A psychiatry waiting list had 880 patients; a hospital could not keep up

Election stress survival guide

Election day is coming. The results may cause some people to celebrate and others to be devastated. Whichever side you’re on, elections — especially political disagreements between friends and family — can be stressful.

We have advice. For starters, it helps to learn why so many of us are vulnerable to political misinformation. “Our psychological biases and predispositions make us vulnerable to falsehoods,” reports Richard Sima in the latest Brain Affairs column. “As a result, misinformation is more likely to be believed, remembered, and later recalled—even after we learn that it was false.”

And remember, don’t let the results of the election — or discussions about misinformation — ruin your Thanksgiving holiday. Experts say the holiday table is not the place to have these conversations.

Instead, invite someone for coffee and make it a one-on-one conversation. Avoid confrontations.

Why does our brain believe lies?

9 tips to deny false claims made by friends and family

8 ways to feel less anxious about things out of your control

How to detox from election anxiety, according to mental health experts

The social media highlight of my week was this video of a horseshoe crab to help another who has turned. It’s a little stressful to watch, but, spoiler alert, it all works out in the end.

We had a busy week at Die Pos. Here is a summary:

Why Daylight Saving Time Is Worse for Your Body Than Standard Time

Aerosol hair products contaminated by benzene may still be on store shelves

How to survive a crowd crush and why they can turn deadly

Three ways to solve sleep problems when nothing else works

Ask a doctor: Is animal protein easier to absorb than plant protein?

Your doctor may have dropped you if you haven’t been seen in a few years

How to support your sober friends when everyone is drinking

Please let us know how we are doing. Email us at wellbeing@washpost.com.

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