Improving Your Mental Health
The first step is to talk to your doctor. They know your health the best, and will be able to:
- Determine if you have a problem
- Check if the problem could be caused by a health issue or a medication side effect
- Suggest you talk with a mental health worker, such as a social worker, mental health counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist
- Refer you to behavioral health or substance use services
- Coordinate your health care with behavioral health services
Types of Behavioral Health Providers
You can choose to see a behavioral health professional for counseling or psychotherapy, while also seeing a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner for medication and counseling services. Your behavioral health providers will be able to explain your treatment options. Types of providers include:
- Psychologist: A practitioner with a doctoral degree in psychology. Psychologists can offer individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, or group therapy. They also may be trained in psychological testing and some in neuropsychological testing.
- Psychiatrist: A medical doctor with specialized behavioral health training. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications for behavioral health treatment, and they may offer individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, or group therapy.
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: An advanced practice nurse specially trained to prescribe medication to patients with behavioral health diagnoses.
Finding Behavioral Health Providers
We’re here to help. If you need to find behavioral health providers or have questions about your coverage, call us at the number on the front of your Blue Cross ID card. You can also search for providers at bluecrossma.com/findadoctor.
To contact the Blue Cross Behavioral Health Case Management department, call 1-800-392-0098 (TTY: 711) 8:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, or 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Fridays.
There are many treatment options and therapies. Talk to your doctor to see which one is right for you. The most common are:
Outpatient therapy: The most often used behavioral health or substance use service provided by a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor.
- Counseling and psychotherapy (Talk Therapy): This includes sessions with a licensed professional that provide you with strategies for dealing with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Medication: This is prescribed by your primary health care provider, a psychiatrist, or a psychiatric nurse practitioner to treat behavioral health conditions.
A behavioral health provider will work with you to determine the right course of treatment. In some cases, this may mean additional services, such as:
- Inpatient care: The most intensive and structured level of care, a 24-hour medically and psychiatrically staffed treatment setting for people with significant mental health or substance use problems.
- Partial Hospital Programs: This type of program usually takes place at a dedicated clinic, with sessions five to seven times a week. The sessions usually include six to eight hours of individual and group therapy that addresses:
- Psychological and social assessments
- Monitoring and treatment planning
- Education and counseling on maintaining recovery